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Nehru requested Bordoloi to take in East Pakistan refugees in Assam: CM Sarma

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India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, told Assam’s first Chief Minister, Gopinath Bordoloi, that if he wanted financial assistance from the Centre, he must absorb Muslim migrants from East Pakistan, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma stated on Sunday.

Himanta Sarma explains the reason behind the request by Nehru to Bordoloi 

“Bordoloi sought financial support from Nehru to overcome the financial crisis of the state after independence. In turn, Nehru asked him to accommodate Muslim refugees from East Pakistan. However, Bordoloi resisted it and said that the state had more than 1 lakh people for giving land allotment. He also argued that the state had no land except the reserve forest and grazing lands,” Sarma made the remarks while speaking at the Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra in Guwahati to deliver the coveted Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi Award for National Integration and Contribution for the year 2021.

“Syed Muhammad Saadulla was the premier of Assam from 1942 to 1945. During this period he abolished the ‘line system’ of old land policy and planned for handing over grazing land to immigrant Muslims from East Pakistan,” he said. 

Bordoloi against the decision to accommodated East Pakistan refugees

Nehru on East Pakistan

Bordoloi, on the other hand, was against the decision and mounted a democratic protest in the Assembly in 1944, prompting the government to convene a joint conference with the Congress and create an all-party cabinet in the provincial government, Sarma further said.

Bordoloi, according to Sarma, was a visionary leader who set the groundwork for contemporary Assam. 

Bordoloi’s spectacular performance, uncompromising attitude, and commitment to the state, according to Sarma, guaranteed that Assam remained an important part of India. 

Sarma emphasized Bordoloi’s involvement in India’s liberation movement and as Prime Minister of Assam’s province government, saying that Lokapriya “managed the state with remarkable fortitude and foresight through the most trying circumstances.”

It was due to Gopinath Bordoloi’s leadership that Assam remained a part of India, according to Sarma

Bordoloi, with Mahatma Gandhi’s blessings, vigorously rejected the Cabinet Mission’s suggestion to put Assam in Group C alongside then-East Pakistan, and it was due to his leadership that Assam remained a part of India, according to Sarma. 

According to Sarma, Lokapriya never compromised with Assam’s interests and performed a pivotal role in thwarting the Sadullah government’s wicked plans. 

The Chief Minister went on to say that Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi would be known in Assam’s history for his opposition to Sadullah’s “Grow More Food” strategy, contribution to the constitution’s VI schedule, formation of belt and blocks, and opposition to the Mission’s grouping system.


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