When Assam is caught in multiple challenges, ranging from citizenship issue to floods and NRC update, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal surprisingly has all the time for photo ops, and this time with the journos.
To everyone’s surprise, Sonowal on Wednesday will distribute press accreditation cards to journalists at an official function. Otherwise, issuing of accreditation or identity cards to journalists is a clerical job, and is part of a routine exercise of the information departments in all the states in India.
It was nothing but foolishness on the part of the advisers, including Rajib Prakash Baruah, the Director of Information and Public Relations, that the Chief Minister was roped in for issuing of identity cards to the journalists.
Tomorrow’s distribution of I-cards to journalists by the chief minister will be the second such event in a year. The first time he distributed the cards to media persons was on April 13 this year.
In fact, Assam, during the last few years, have emerged as the hub for ceremonies — be it for distribution of appointment letters, laptops and scooters to students or health cards. It has become a fashion for the chief minister and his ministerial colleagues to hog the limelight.
When the BJP-led government took over the reins in 2016, everyone in Assam thought that Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal will play the active role of a game-changer, and bring about massive development in the state.
Sonowal is a busy man, and has the responsibility bestowed on him by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to transform Assam into a major manufacturing hub and the bridge between the South and Southeast Asian economies. He also organized the biggest investment event — Advantage Assam, and travelled to the Southeast Asian countries to woo investments.
It is surprising as to why the media advisers to the Chief Minister do not understand the herculean task bestowed on Sonowal, and make him waste his valuable time for a couple of smiling photos on cover page of local dailies, and few seconds clips on the local television channels.