In a first since 1979, Assam celebrates I-day sans bandh call: CM Sarma jubilant
Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma expressed his gratitude on Sunday as Independence Day was celebrated in the state for the first time in decades without any rebel outfit calling for a shutdown of the day. He said it was significant and historic as it had happened for the first time since 1979.
The chief minister also appealed to Paresh Barua, the chief of rebel outfit United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I), to come to the negotiating table. He had made a similar appeal after assuming power in May this year.
Taking to Twitter, Sarma said the major milestone was a reflection of the “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas” campaign of the Union government and relentless efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to bring peace and stability in the northeast. He further said the development marked a fitting tribute to the Centre’s government-led Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations that kicked off to commemorate 75 years of the country’s independence.
“I salute the people of Assam for commemorating our 75th year of Independence truly on the principles of Jan Bhagidari. It is significant & historic that there was no bandh call by any organisation this Independence Day,” he wrote.
The ULFA (I), which had been calling for Assam Bandh on Independence Day and Republic Day for several decades, refrained from the practice for the first time for Independence Day this year. The outfit had declared a unilateral ceasefire in May this year in view of the pandemic situation.
Around the same time when Sarma took charge as CM, he had urged Barua to come for peace talks.