Dispur: Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Saturday inaugurated the mid-year executive committee meeting of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association at a solemn function held at Assam Legislative Assembly here today.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “In seven-decade-old Indian parliamentary democratic setup, today is indeed a historic day. It is for the first time that the Mid-Year Executive Committee Meeting of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association is being held in India. I feel immensely proud that CPA Assam State Branch has got the historic opportunity to host this landmark event at the precinct of the Assam Legislative Assembly which is one among the many public institutions that have an enduring influence on the lives of the people of the entire north-eastern region.”
He said that he felt immensely delighted to welcome 53 member countries covering all nine regions of CPA to the conference either physically or through virtual mode.
While representatives from member countries including the United Kingdom, Ghana, Malaysia, Australia, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Tanzania, Barbados, Singapore and India have come all the way to Assam to take part in this event, representatives from the rest of the countries have joined this event virtually.
The Chief Minister also said, “At this momentous occasion, I am pleased to inform you that our State being the largest among eight Northeastern States of India is blessed with a large variety of natural resources and very rich bio-diversity. Assam is home to the famous one-horned rhino at Kaziranga and other National parks which have a variety of wild lives. Our state is nurtured by one of the greatest rivers in the world, the Brahmaputra.”
He added, “Assam Tea is famous throughout the world and there are around 850 tea gardens in our state. The petroleum industry in India started at Digboi in Assam and we have today four refineries and significant petroleum as well as natural gas reserves”.
“Moreover, in the democratic set up of our country, Assam Legislative Assembly, where this CPA meet is being held, is one of the oldest in India, second only to Uttar Pradesh Assembly. Prior to India’s independence, the whole of today’s Northeastern Region of India, barring the present states of Manipur and Tripura, which were then princely states, constituted the Assam Province, with Shillong as the capital. The Assam Legislative Assembly, which was initially a bicameral legislature comprising a Legislative Council and a Legislative Assembly came into being under the Government of India Act, 1935. The elected members of the Assembly first met on April 7, 1937. In 1972, the state capital was shifted from Shillong to Dispur and since then, the proceedings of the Assam Legislative Assembly have continued here”, he added.
The Chief Minister also said that during the last eight decades, Assam Legislative Assembly has witnessed many historic debates with several towering personalities adorning this temple of democracy. Most notable amongst these luminaries was Bharat Ratna Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi, who was the first Premier of Assam.