Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Monday sought support from all quarters to make Guwahati the sports capital of India. Sonowal who was also the Union minister for sports and youth affairs before being elected the chief minister, urged to create a sports-friendly environment in the state.
On Monday, the chief minister reacted to the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU)’s warning of a massive protest if Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to the city to inaugurate the Khelo India Youth Games on January 10.
However, Modi’s visit is yet to be confirmed.
Sonowal said, “The Assam government wants to take the state forward through sports. We want everyone to have a positive approach towards sports as it helps to create a discipline, healthy and ideal society. Sport is a way of life.”
He was inaugurating the seventh edition of the TG Baruah Media T20 tournament at Judges Field. He kicked off the tournament by playing some cricketing shots on the ground.
Sonowal said the state government is making all-out efforts to make the sporting event memorable experience for all participants. Through sports, the state government aims to bring peace and unity in the state, the chief minister said.
On Sunday, the students’ union, which is at the forefront of the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), said it was keeping a “close watch” on the activities around the two sporting events to be held here.
AASU chief adviser Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharjya said, “If the Prime Minister visits Assam for the Khelo India Games, then it’s sure that he is going to face massive protests. We are also keeping our eyes on the T20 cricket match to be played between India and Sri Lanka on January 5.”
Modi’s proposed visit to the state would be his first after the CAA was passed.
In Assam, AASU, Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad (AJYCP), Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti and several indigenous and tribal groups have been constantly holding protests against CAA.
Assam police have been also reviewing its security and traffic management plans ahead of the two mega sporting events. On Monday, a security review meeting was held in which top officials of the Kamrup (metro) administration and city police were present.