The cake that was brought in to celebrate PM Narendra Modi’s 69th birthday in Tinsukia, Assam on Tuesday Credit: Rishu Kalantri
Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma addressing the gathering while laying the foundation stone of a railway overbridge in Tinsukia on Tuesday

Tinsukia: Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday refrained himself and chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal from cutting a cake, brought to celebrate the 69th birthday of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as it carried a photo of the Indian premier.

The finance, health & family welfare and PWD minister was at a function to lay the foundation stone of a railway overbridge at Sreepuria Road in Tinsukia, when a cake with the image of Modi was placed on the stage of Gulab Chandra Natya Mandir where the dignitaries were present.

As a knife was brought in to cut the cake, Sarma stepped in saying that the cake should not be cut as it has a photo of Modi on it.

Addressing the gathering, Sarma said, “We thought of cutting a cake on the occasion of Narendra Modi’s birthday. There is a cake in front of us and those who made this cake has put an image of Modi on it out of love. If we cut this cake, we will also have to cut the photo of Narendra Modi. Therefore we will not cut this cake and arrange for another cake to celebrate.”

“However, Modi has given priority to ‘seva’ over cutting cake on his birthday,” Sarma said, adding, “Modi has told BJP workers that if you really want to celebrate my birthday then do it by serving the society.”

Hence we are observing this week as ‘Seva Saptah’ and this bridge at Sreepuria railway crossing is a gift on the birthday of Modi to the meet the long standing demand of the citizens of Tinsukia, Sarma added.

Earlier, Sonowal and Sarma laid the foundation stone of a railway overbridge at Sreepuria road in Tinsukia town.

Taking to Twitter, Sarma wrote: “Glad to have joined foundation laying of Railway Overbridge at Sreepuria Road at #Tinsukia along with HCM @sarbanandsonwal Union Min Sri Rameswar Teli & MLA Sri Sanjay Kisan. The 563.4 m ₹60.21 cr bridge is 4th one out of 10 that we had declared in 2017-18 Budget.

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Addressing the gathering at an indoor venue, few metres from the foundation stone laying spot, Sarma said, “There are altogether 26 railway crossing on important roads across the state of Assam. Two years ago, we had decided to built over-bridge at these railway crossing with 3 to 4 years.”

“The work for 13 such over-bridges will start this year, with several in the process, and the remaining 13 will start next year,” Sarma said, adding that the work of the bridge shall complete within 24 to 28 months.

“We have initiated a new work in Tinsukia aiming to convert it into a smart town. Several projects totalling around Rs 1,000 crore, including a medical college, are underway in Tinsukia for its development,” CM Sonowal said.

Union minister and Dibrugarh MP Rameshwar Teli, Tinsukia MLA Sanjoy Kishan, Margherita MLA Bhaskar Sarmah and DRM of Tinsukia railway division Ashish Sharma, among others, were also present during the function.

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