Guwahati, Jan 27 (PTI) Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal Sunday said the Citizenship Bill was a national policy and once it becomes an act, the burden of new citizens would be borne by the entire country.

Attempts are being made to confuse people but the state government which has come to power with a popular mandate would do nothing to harm the interests of the local people, Sonowal said.

Speaking at the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Nalbari Medical College and Hospital at Borigaon, Sonowal said the bill can never threaten the existence of the indigenous people of Assam which has a legacy of great personalities like Srimanta Sankardev, Azan Fakir, Lachit Borphukan, Bagh Hazarika and other. The chief minister also urged the All Assam Students Union (AASU) to extend full cooperation in successful implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord for ensuring constitutional, administrative and legislative safeguard for the indigenous people.

He asked the intelligentsia to present the true picture of the bill before the people of the state, while criticising the previous Congress government for neglecting development in the region as well as the interests of the local people.

The previous Congress governments imposed IMDT Act in the state to protect illegal immigrants and made no significant efforts to update the National Register of Citizens (NRC), Sonowal said.

The NRC updation process received a major shot in the arm with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi coming to power at the Centre, he said.

After the final publication of the NRC, people of state would get a clear picture about the genuine citizens and illegal immigrants, Sonowal added.

The Nalbari Medical college will be constructed with a financial outlay of Rs 398.31 crore and will provide academic opportunities for 100 students per year.

Minister of Health and Family Welfare Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the state government had already sanctioned an amount of Rs 350 crore for the construction of the college which would give a new dimension to healthcare delivery service in the district.

He also informed that a 100-bed Cancer Hospital would also be setup in the same campus at a cost of Rs 19 crore.

The meeting was also addressed by Industry and Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary, Mangaldoi MP Ramen Deka and Nalbari MLA Ashok Sarma.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.