Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on August 7 reiterated his government’s zero tolerance approach towards corruption.
Speaking to reporters, Sarma claimed that in the last one year, the Assam government was able to reclaim people’s faith by taking stringent action against bribery.
“In all our meetings, I have categorically said that the government should not be a burden on the citizens. In the last one year, through digital governance, we have reclaimed people’s faith as far as fighting corruption is concerned,” said Sarma.
Sarma was in the national capital to attend the seventh meeting of the governing council of National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog which was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
This was the first physical meeting of the governing council since the onset of the pandemic, with the 2021 meeting held via video conference. The meeting was attended by 23 chief ministers, 3 lieutenant governors and two administrators and Union ministers.
“I have told the government employees to avoid involvement in corruption. Earlier it was only a verbal approach. But now the anti-corruption and vigilance department has been working vigorously to end corruption. I appeal to the people, if any government employee asks for money, don’t deny them. Instead, inform us about the venue and time when the officials wish to meet to take bribes,” said Sarma while highlighting that digital governance has been able to solve this “corruption issue” to a big extent.
Sarma was referring to the incident where the registrar of Bhattadev University, Guruprasad Khataniar, was arrested by the vigilance and anti-corruption (VAC) departments in Guwahati on Saturday on charges of demanding bribes.
Sarma also held a meeting with his Tripura counterpart Prof (Dr) Manik Saha and discussed several issues of mutual interests and cooperation.
Sarma talked on a wide range of issues of mutual interests and cooperation, including strengthening of ties with the neighbouring state. Significantly, Assam shares 46.3 km inter-state boundary with Tripura.
“Assam and Tripura have always shared amicable ties. Had a meaningful conversation on areas of mutual interests, including ways to strengthen our party,” said Sarma.
Referring to the issue of Independence Day bandh called by National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) and United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), Sarma said, “I don’t think there will be any problem. Bandh and boycott are two different things. There will be peace in Assam. I don’t think there will be any incidents. They (insurgents) keep calling such bandhs.”