New Delhi, Jan 26: The BJP-led Assam government has welcomed the conferment of the highest civilian award Bharat Ratna posthumously on music maestro Bhupen Hazarika even as the state Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma sought to attack the Congress party for not doing so in the past.
In a statement on Friday evening, Assam Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for conferring the highest civilian award of the country on the legendary singer from the state.
"Bharat Ratna for the Bard of Brahmaputra is a great honour for Assam and its glorious culture".
"Dr Hazarika, with his message of humanity, was not only a great son of Assam, but of India as a unifier of people of all languages and creed through his contributions to the field of art and culture of the country," Mr Sonowal said in his statement.
"He is an inspiration for the new generation to go forward with his message of peace, harmony and brotherhood," said the Chief Minister
Assam Finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and state BJP chief Ranjit Dass also expressed happiness over the decision to confer Bharat Ratna on Hazarika.
However, talking to a private TV channel, Himanta Biswa Sarma, a former Congress minister said during the time of erstwhile UPA regime a recommendation was made by the Tarun Gogoi-led Assam government to confer the Bharat Ratna on Bhupen Hazarika, but it was declined saying posthumously the award could not be given.
"Similarly, there was delay in giving Bharat Ratna to Gopinath Bordoloi, another legendary leader from Assam," the BJP leader said.
"It is matter of great pride and delight that Dr Bhupen Hazarika has been posthumously conferred with the Bharat Ratna. My gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. We are all elated," Mr Sarma tweeted. (UNI)