Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, otherwise an eloquent speaker, faced an awkward moment at the launch of the “Digital North East Vision 2022” document in Guwahati on Saturday but he averted it with grace when it was brought to his notice.
Sonowal addressed Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad as “Pandit Ravi Shankar”, mixing up the names of the Union Minister of Electronics & IT and Law and Justice, with the deceased sitar maestro Pt Ravi Shankar who passed away in 2012. The slip seemed to have left the senior BJP leader embarassed.
The gaffe happened right at the beginning of the CMs speech when he was expressing gratitude to the Union Mnister saying that he would like to specially thank “Pandit Ravi Shankarji” when Prasad promptly interrupted Sonowal and quipped that the Assam CM has made him a “Pandit” or a learned person.
The audience burst out laughing at the Union Minister’s quick response and the CM rectified himself, towards the end of his speech, saying that he admired the wisdom, matirity, and courage of the Union Minister and that was why he referred to him as “Pandit”.
This won himn applause from those present at the event including his counterparts from Meghalaya and Tripura who were present there with a few other ministers and senior bureaucrats.
Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad released Digital North East India Vision 2022 in presence of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Chief Ministers of Tripura and Meghalaya at the function held in Guwahati on Saturday evening.
Digital India is a flagship programme approved by Government of India with a vision to transform the country into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy and Digital NE India Vision 2022 envisages to implemant the Digital India initiatives in North East through optimum utilizaion of information, communication ad technology.
Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that enunciated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Digital India assumed the form of a people’s movement. Stating that the Centre has put tremendous impetus for strengthening the digital infrastructure of the North East, the Minister said that under the programme efforts have been made to bring in all the people of the region under the digital influence. He also said that under the direction of the Prime Minister, the Union Minister along with other senior officers has come to North East to assess the implementation of the Digital India programme in the region.