At a time when Assam along with the rest of the country battles the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the BJP government on Monday organized its oath-taking ceremony in Guwahati, where COVID-19 guidelines were hardly followed.

Himanta Biswa Sarma took oath as the 15th chief minister of Assam along with 13 members of his cabinet at the Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra auditorium, which was jam-packed with more than 700 invitees.

While the administration has issued orders restricting the attendance in social events like weddings, funerals/last rites in the state just at 20, no such Covid-19 restriction was followed during the oath-taking ceremony.

Newly appointed cabinet minister Sanjay Kishan and BJP MP Kamakhya Prasad Tasa were seen without a mask.

Many of the invitees present at the auditorium did not wear masks properly and there was hardly any social distancing.

While few invitees were seen without face masks, some were seen with masks hanging around their necks.

“The administration had made arrangements to ensure that people wore masks and maintain social distance. But as the gathering was big, and many of them were VIP or VVIPs, it was difficult to ensure that everyone wore masks and maintained social distance,” said a police officer on condition of anonymity.

It is difficult to understand why the government could not scale down the oath-taking ceremony as the entire country is struggling to contain the deadly second wave of the coronavirus.

It may be mentioned that Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday took oath as the chief minister of West Bengal for a third consecutive term.

However, the oath-taking ceremony was a low-key affair due to the pandemic situation.

According to National Health Mission (NHM) data, 1,676 people have so far died in Assam, with 48 people succumbed to the infection on Sunday.

As of Sunday, the state has a total of 36, 005 Covid-19 active cases.

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Mahesh Deka

Mahesh Deka is Executive Editor of Northeast Now. He can be reached at: