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Assam home to ‘homeless’ PM

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said he was grateful that Assam had given him a home and a sense of belonging. HT reports.

india Updated: Apr 20, 2012 20:44 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said he was grateful that Assam had given him a home and a sense of belonging.

“I remain deeply indebted to the people of Assam. I was born in a distant and dusty village in a part of this sub-continent that is no longer in India. At a tender age I became homeless and a migrant. It is in Assam that I have finally found a home that has given me a sense of belonging. The friendship, the affection and the warmth that each one of you has so readily extended to me is something I cannot and will not ever forget,” he said while inaugurating the platinum jubilee celebration of the Assam legislative assembly.

Singh has been a Rajya Sabha member from Assam for the fourth straight term since 1991. Since then, he has also been a tenant of former chief minister Hiteswar Saikia. He pays a monthly rent of a little more than Rs 700 to Saikia’s widow Hemoprova Saikia for a duplex in the Sarumotoria locality.

While the Prime Minister lost his home to Partition the Assam legislative assembly too lost its original form to reorganization of states in 1972. The 75-year-old assembly was established in Shillong – then the capital of undivided Assam – on 7 April 1937. It became the Meghalaya legislative assembly after the hill state was carved out of Assam in January 1972.

Ironically, the Meghalaya legislative assembly too had to shift after a major fire reduced it to cinders in January 2001. The assembly of the hill state now functions out of a heritage building where Nobel laureate spent his holidays.

First Published: Apr 20, 2012 20:42 IST