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Vajpayee’s contribution to NE recalled

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal speaking at a shraddhanjali programme organised by the Assam Government in memory of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Guwahati on Monday. – UB Photos
 GUWAHATI, Aug 27 - A shraddhanjali programme was organized here today by the State government in memory of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who passed away recently.

Governor Jagdish Mukhi, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and a host of other leaders and dignitaries paid rich tributes to the departed leader on the occasion.

Stating that the former Prime Minister believed in dialogue and consensus to solve all problems, the Governor said that because of this reason Vajpayee could sustain a coalition government. “Vajpayee’s oratory skills were exceptional and he demonstrated this while giving speech at the United Nations in Hindi,” Mukhi said.

Recalling the former Prime Minister’s sense of humour as an asset in his repertoire, the Governor stated that Vajpayee could make witty remarks even in a tense situation in Parliament and it would relax the environment while bringing the discussion back on track. “He was a parliamentarian per excellence and served in many capacities in Parliament,” Mukhi said.

Speaking on the occasion, Sonowal said that Vajpayee made tremendous sacrifice for the country throughout his life and acted as a unifying factor for the country cutting across divides of geography, religion and language. “Vajpayee’s pleasant demeanour inspired love and affection from all sections of the society as he commanded respect from people irrespective of their political ideologies,” he said.

Quoting Vajpayee’s lines – “I do not fear death but fear getting a bad name”, the Chief Minister highlighted the former Prime Minister’s contribution to Assam and the Northeast in the form of construction of Bogibeel bridge, linking the State with the East West Corridor and setting up of the DoNER Ministry.

“Following Vajpayee’s ideals the present Central government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is continuing with the developmental activities and people of the country must stay united to make India a developed country which would be the ultimate respect to the departed leader,” Sonowal said.

Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that Vajpayee was a friend of Assam and he supported the causes of Assam Agitation. “Because of the former Prime Minister’s initiative the Union ministries were mandated to spend 10 per cent of their budget allocations for the development of the northeastern region,” he said.

“However, in case the ministries failed to spend the said amount for the Northeast development purpose, those unspent funds would be diverted to a Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR). Thus, NLCPR was established by the Vajpayee government which is responsible for ushering in rapid development of the region,” Sarma added.

Former Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta and Water Resources Minister Keshab Mahanta along with a host of other dignitaries also spoke on the occasion and highlighted Vajpayee’s association with Assam and his contribution in bringing the Northeast into the developmental discourse of the country.

Several ministers, MPs and MLAs, Chief Minister’s Media Adviser, chairmen and vice chairmen of various boards and corporations were also present in the programme.

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