Assam Fellowship

Guwahati, Sept 18: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has been honored with the prestigious Lee Kuan Yew Exchange Fellowship of Singapore, recognizing his outstanding contributions to public works and development.

As a Lee Kuan Yew Fellow, Sarma has been invited to visit Singapore. This fellowship is granted to individuals who have made exceptional contributions to their nation’s development and bilateral relations with Singapore. It is named in tribute to Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s founding Prime Minister.

The Chief Minister’s Office announced that Sarma was chosen for this award due to his significant role in promoting development and international harmony. He is the first chief minister from Assam to receive this esteemed fellowship, joining the ranks of notable individuals like former Union Minister Arun Shourie, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, and former Vice-Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

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However, Assam Congress president Bhupen Kumar Borah expressed surprise and disagreement with the decision to award the fellowship to Sarma. Borah highlighted the stark contrast between Himanta Biswa Sarma and the principles upheld by Lee Kuan Yew, emphasizing Sarma’s alleged involvement in financial scandals and divisive statements against minority groups.

Borah also criticized the Assam government for its failure to provide essential services to citizens and its mounting debt. He announced his intention to write to the Singapore government, through its embassy in India, requesting the withdrawal of the fellowship awarded to Sarma.