By-poll victory proof of devp work by BJP govt : Sarma

  • | Tuesday | 2nd November, 2021

Guwahati, Nov 2 (PTI) Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma Tuesday credited the power-packed perormance of NDA in the by-poll in the five Assembly seats in the state, whose results were declared during the day, to the development work by his government in the last five-and-half months and asserted that all poll promises will be fulfilled. He said the mandate is also recognition of Prime Minister Narendra Modi"s efforts to uplift the North East region. He also hinted that two to three opposition MLAs might switch over to BJP and bypolls to the seats from where they were elected are likely to take place along with Majuli Assembly seat, which was vacated by Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. "I humbly accept the love and blessings of the people of Assam. The winning margins have soared enormously as all the seats were bagged by over 25,000 vote margins. In some seats these are records," Sarma said at a press conference here. Not only in Assam, the NEDA (the regional wing of NDA of which Sarma is the convenor) has won all the seats in the by-poll in Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland. "This is again a proof that people of the region support Modi in his developmental work in the region," Sarma said. "The mandate is testimony to the development work the NDA government in Assam is undertaking in the last five-and-half months since its election and a recognition of Prime Minister Narendra Modi"s endeavour to uplift the Northeast," he said. After the NDA victory in Assam all the alliance partners - BJP, AGP and UPPL will have to work with more vigour for the development of the state. "We cannot take rest, we cannot become complacent. We will have to work at a faster pace now. We will fulfill all the promises made during the campaign of the election," he said. BJP candidates Phanidhar Talukdar, Rupjyoti Kurmi and Sushanta Borgohain won in Bhabanipur, Mariani and Thowra seats respectively. The three were elected as opposition MLAs in the March-April election this year, but later resigned and joined the saffron party. Ally UPPL"s Jiron Basumatary and Jolen Daimary bagged the Gossaigaon and Tamulpur seats respectively. With these victories in the bypoll, BJP"s strength in the 126-member Assam Assembly has increased to 62 and UPPL"s to seven. The other NDA ally AGP, which did not field any candidate this time, has nine MLAs. Opposition Congress has 27, AIUDF has 15, BPF three and CPI(M) one MLA. There is an Independent too. Asked if more MLAs from the opposition in the state will join the saffron party, Sarma shot back saying said all of them would have done so if there were no political compulsions. "The way our ministers and leaders worked will encourage many to join the BJP. I can only say that the people in two to three more constituencies want by-poll. I cannot say anything more than that ... But we cannot continue to have by-poll regularly. Now by-poll will take place in Majuli," he said. Sarma said that he hoped to see during his lifetime BJP MLAs all the 126 seats of Assam Assembly. "That day will surely come," he added. The Chief Minister also announced that the municipal elections in the state will be held during February 2022 if the COVID-19 situation did not worsen. On the demographic change in the voting pattern during the October 30 by-poll, Sarma said BJP has got huge number of votes in Bhabanipur and Gossaigaon seats where there are considerable number of minority voters. "During the campaign I had focussed on development only. I also said that eviction at Gorukhuti was just. The agriculture project there (for which the eviction was carried out) is the beginning of self reliance. In future we will work for all tribes and communities so that Assam is among the top five states in India," he added. Two perons were killed and several others, including nine policemen were injured in the violence during the eviction drive by the police at Gorukuthi in Darrang district in September. The chief minister asserted that eviction drives in the state will continue and clear encroached lands in places like Lumding Reserve Forest, Barchalla and Dhekiajuli, but through dialogues. He claimed that the alleged encroachers are from places like Baghbar and Jania, where they already had land but lost them to some "zaminder" type landowners. "We are now thinking of starting land surveys in char-chapori (sandbar) areas and this will clear many doubts. Some handful of people have occupied hundreds of bighas of land and displaced poor people, who moved to other places and encroached lands," Sarma said. Harping on encroachment, he said the alleged illegal settlers in Lumding Reserve Forest had come for ginger farming in a huge tract inside it and were brought by three big traders. PTI TR KK KK KK

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