The newly sworn-in Chief Minister of Assam, and therefore the BJP’s key leader within the Northeast, spoke on a variety of issues, including measures in Assam to tackle the Covid pandemic, his political career, problems with the Congress leadership, relationship between the Centre and states, the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and therefore the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, and Assam’s roadmap for the longer term .
Speaking about federalism, the Chief Minister said, “Today, the Centre-state relationship is redefined during a way that a CM like Mamata Banerjee could dare to challenge the Central government.” Sarma, who was a minister within the Congress government in Assam since 2002 before shifting to the BJP, said the Central government today will continue developmental activity in any state regardless of the political affiliation of the party in power.
Sarma said people that are unable to prove their Indian citizenship within the NRC and therefore the associated judicial process may need to be disenfranchised before being deported to Bangladesh while assuring that because the state’s CM he’s committed to figure for every and each person with none discrimination.
On the NRC, which has as of now excluded over 19 lakh applicants, Sarma said the government demands a re-verification of 20 per cent of the included names in border districts and 10 per cent elsewhere. He said that after being excluded from the NRC, people would get an opportunity to appeal at the state’s Foreigners’ Tribunals.
Once the judicial process was over and therefore the court of law pronounced a specific person as a citizen of Bangladesh, he was sure that the govt of India would be ready to convince Bangladesh to require that person back.
On the CAA, a legislation which is taken into account contentious in Assam, Sarma said he was a vocal supporter. “CAA is discharging our historical responsibility — it shouldn’t be seen through a communal framework,” he said.
When asked about his comment during the election campaign earlier this year that he didn’t want minority votes (referring thereto as 35% of the state’s population), Sarma sought to form a distinction between a political campaigner and therefore the Chief Minister.