In wake of non-stop protests against the controversial newly amended citizenship law, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal got emotional and appealed to the people of the state to trust his government.
During an interaction with journalists on New Year’s Eve in Guwahati, Sonowal said that his government has forwarded suggestions to the Centre, which is in process of framing the rule of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), to safeguard the interest of indigenous people.
“I would like to make an appeal to the people of my state to have trust in me. I am your son. I am a human being too. Please do not isolate me from you…where will I go if you do so? My government will never compromise with the interest of people. All false campaign against the government will be exposed soon, just wait and watch,” Sonowal said.
Sonowal has become the main target of the protests against the CAA in the state. Once hailed as the ‘Jatiya Nayak’ (hero of the community), the CM today is called the “betrayer of the Assamese people”.
Lamenting that he has been called by various nicknames by protesters, he added, “It is because of your blessings that I am here as the chief minister. What is the use of being the chief minister if I can’t protect the interest of my people who have elected me? Please trust me, Assam will not be affected.”
He retreated that his government is committed to safeguard – jati, mati, bheti (community, land, home) of the indigenous people.
After the Rajya Sabha passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill on December 11th, 2019, massive protests erupted in the state including a few other Northeastern states. In Assam, rail stations, panchayat office, a post office, a bank, a bus terminus, shops, several vehicles and other public properties have been either set ablaze or ransacked.
The streets of the state, specially the Guwahati Shillong Road, turned into a veritable battle zone littered with burnt tyres, logs, stones, rubber pellets and teargas shells as seething protesters mostly students descended on the streets opposing the Bill. Four people have been killed in police firing so far, while an oil tanker driver was charred to death when his vehicle was set on fire in Orang.
“My commitment towards Assam and the Assamese society will forever remain intact. I have come out of this land with the blessings of the people of Assam and will never forget that, even if I am in a national party,” he said.
Chief Minister further blamed the Congress and Left parties of spreading rumours on CAA. “Numerous lies are being spread regarding CAA. Rumours that foreigners will be allowed to settle in the land of indigenous people have caused fear psychosis among common people. And Congress and Left parties are adding fuel to these rumours,” he added.
Photo credit: @CMOfficeAssam