A river island in Assam has been rewarded for electing the head of the state’s first BJP-led government.
The Sarbananda Sonowal ministry, in its first cabinet meeting since taking charge on May 24, decided on Monday to grant district status to Majuli, a 400sqkm island in the river Brahmaputra.
Sonowal had won the assembly election this year from Majuli, a constituency reserved for scheduled tribes.
The erosion-troubled Majuli, now a sub-division of Jorhat district, will become the 34th district of Assam.
“We have decided to elevate Majuli to a district so that people do not have to take a boat every time they need to approach the district administration,” state excise minister Parimal Suklabaidya said after the meeting.
The cabinet, he said, also decided to regularise some 10,000 teachers who were facing uncertainty despite having passed the Teachers’ Eligibility Test (TET).
The decision coincided with 7,234 TET teachers joining duty in schools across 10 districts. They had been posted a week ago through computerised random lottery.
Majuli, inhabited mostly by Mishing tribal people, has been the hub of Assamese neo-Vaishnavite culture that 15th century saint-reformer Srimanta Sankardeva had initiated.
The island had some 65 satras or monasteries adhering to Vaishnavism, but a large number relocated to the mainland after being washed away.
The main surviving satras include Dakhinpat, Garamurh, Auniati, Kamalabari and Bengenaati.