Preparations are in full swing to welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Kokrajhar in Assam on February 7th, 2020. Modi will take part in the celebrations of the signing of the Bodo Agreement.
The Prime Minister’s Office in a statement said that more than four lakh people from Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) and other parts of Assam are likely to attend the rally at Jangkritai Fwtar near Kokrajhar, 216km from Guwahati.
A cultural programme of ethnic groups of Assam has been organised by the Assam Government to showcase the diversity of the state. A public holiday has been declared in the four BTAD districts of Kokrajhar, Udalguri, Chirang and Baksa on February 7th, 2020.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on February 5th, 2020 reviewed preparations in Kokrajhar ahead of Prime Minister’s visit. This will be Modi’s first visit to Assam since the anti-CAA protests started in the state.
“The decades-long Bodo issue saw the final solution due to the leadership of Modiji. People of Assam are all set to welcome the Hon’ble PM on this historic occasion,” Sonowal tweeted.
The Chief Minister was accompanied by Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Minister of State (independent charge) Pijush Hazarika, Rajya Sabha MP Biswajit Daimary, Bodoland Territorial Council chief Hagrama Mohilary, All Bodo Students’ Union(ABSU) president Pramod Boro, state police top brass and other top officials.
Earlier, two visits of Modi was cancelled due to anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests. An annual summit between Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe was cancelled in Guwahati because of the protests in Guwahati in December last year.
After All Assam Students Union (AASU) and Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) warned of strong protest if Modi visits Assam, he didn’t attend the inauguration ceremony of Khelo India Youth Games in Guwahati in February.
However, the AASU and AJYCP have decided not to “intervene” with the celebrations of the singing of the Bodo Accord.
The Prime Minister is scheduled to arrive in Guwahati around 11 am and then fly in a helicopter to Kokrajhar. Hundreds of Bodo girls will perform the traditional Bagurumba dance to welcome him.
The Union home ministry on January 27th, 2020 signed a historic Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) with all the factions of National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) and Assam government. The ABSU, which has been spearheading the statehood movement, was also a signatory.
The factions of NDFB viz Gobindo Basumatary faction, Dhirendra Bodo faction, Ranjan Daymari faction and Saoraigwra faction and the United Bodo Peoples Organization are the signatories of the Accord.
Hailing the Accord, Modi said that it would usher in a new dawn of peace, harmony and togetherness and that those associated with armed resistance groups would now enter the mainstream and contribute to the nation’s progress.
Photo credit: @sarbanandsonwal