BJP along with its allies AGP and BPF had formed the government in Assam earlier this year. They had completely decimated Congress who had ruled the State for one and half decade. People of Assam, naturally, had huge expectations from this government. As this government led by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal recently completed 100 days in office, let’s look at their performance over the course of these three months.
Sonowal managed to create positive vibes about his government by stopping his convoy at traffic signals. He also limited his convoy to just six vehicles, thus setting an example for other ministers. Decision to abolish check-gates was another positive step taken by his government. His government also abolished oral interviews for 3 rd and 4 th grade appointments. Incidentally, it is alleged that lot of corruption take place during these interviews.
Sonowal government has also taken up a strong stance against corruption which is encouraging. Some corrupt government officials have already landed in police net, most notable of them being forest officer Mahat Talukdar. In these three months, government has also arrested more than 100 poachers.
This government has also reached out to film fraternity of Assam. A trust called Silpi and Kalakaushali Kalyan Nidhi has been set up for which Rs 1 is being collected from every cine-goer. This has been done to create welfare funds for cine-goers and technicians. Pension for cine-artists have also been increased.
In the education front, process to regularise post of more than 17,000 TET teachers have been started. Many students from poor families have also got free admission in schools.
Failure to curb price rise
However, the new government has also failed on many fronts, most notably in curbing price rise. Government’s decision to increase VAT has increased by 1 percent has hit the common people real hard. Prices of most essential commodities have sky-rocketed. The government has also back-tracked on the illegal immigrant issue. Another failure of the government is to bring adequate relief from the Centre during the devastating flood this year.
Law and order situation has not improved in the state under this regime. Cases of kidnapping, extortion and crime against women are happening rampantly. The recent terror attack in Kokrajhar is a blot on the performance of this government. Police has also failed to rescue Kuldeep Moran, who has been kidnapped by ULFA (I). However, cops managed to bring back Adrija, a young girl from Guwahati who was kidnapped few days back.
In the education sector, government is receiving flak for allowing 50 schools to change their affiliation to CBSE from SEBA. It has also been criticized for its handling of the AIIMS issue. Widespread protest was seen in Raha after government declared that AIIMS will be instead set up in Changsari. As cops opened fire, a youth named Mintu Deori had died.
It is true that 100 days is too early to judge the performance of a government. However, it is long enough time to give an impression of that government. While it can be said that Sonowal government has been earnest in most cases, they have also failed to address some critical issues affecting masses. It can be hoped that in the coming days, this government will pull up their socks and fulfil the expectation of people of Assam.