Congress Voices Dissatisfaction, Calls for Withdrawal of Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew Exchange Fellowship Awarded to Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma
In a recent announcement, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has been honored with the prestigious Lee Kuan Yew Exchange Fellowship from the Singapore government, as stated in an official release.
Under the aegis of this esteemed fellowship, Mr. Sarma has received an invitation to visit Singapore as a Lee Kuan Yew Fellow, recognizing his commendable leadership in the realm of public works and development.
This distinguished fellowship is bestowed upon individuals in acknowledgement of their remarkable contributions to their nation’s development and their role in fostering bilateral relations with Singapore. The fellowship was initiated as a tribute to Lee Kuan Yew, the founding Prime Minister of Singapore, for his invaluable contributions to the nation, and the Prime Minister of Singapore serves as its Patron.
The release from the Chief Minister’s Office emphasized that Mr. Sarma has been chosen for this honor due to his significant contributions in advancing the causes of development and international harmony. Notably, he is the first Chief Minister from Assam to receive this prestigious fellowship.
Mr. Sarma now joins the ranks of other distinguished recipients, including former Union Minister Arun Shourie, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, and former Vice-Chairman of the Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia.
However, the decision to confer this fellowship upon Mr. Sarma has stirred controversy, with Assam Congress President Bhupen Kumar Borah expressing surprise and disappointment. Mr. Borah has indicated his intention to write to the Singapore government, urging them to withdraw the fellowship. He cited concerns about Mr. Sarma’s alleged involvement in financial scandals and divisive rhetoric against minority communities. Mr. Borah also criticized the state government’s performance, claiming a failure to provide essential services while accumulating debt.