Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Friday welcomed media criticism on his government’s performance and urged journalists to help him in his fight against corruption.
The media has always played a proactive role in the state, keeping a close watch on the functioning of the government and they must continue to do so, he said.
“The media should not hesitate to criticise us if we make any mistake,” the chief minister said here after extending financial aid to the families of journalists, who were either killed by extremists or went missing in action.
No amount of schemes or allocation of funds can bring about ‘parivartan’ (change) unless the entire system – from the Chief Minister’s Office to the Panchayat office – is corruption free, Sonowal said.
“Change will be possible only when the poorest of the poor can claim that they have got relief from the government and unless that happens, we cannot claim to be successful,” he said.
The Chief Minister distributed one-time ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the next of kin of 32 journalists at the event, organised by the state Information and Public Relations Department.
Sonowal said that his government was grateful to the media for helping him in his campaign against corruption.
“We cannot let the sacrifice of the journalists who laid their lives for the society, state and nation to go in vain and must jointly strive to achieve a peaceful, terrorist-free, corruption-free, pollution-free and economically resurgent state,” he added.
Two books – one with biographical sketches of 32 journalists and another carrying articles by Assam’s rural journalists who recently visited Madhya Pradesh on a Goodwill Mission – were also released by the Chief Minister on the occasion.