By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, May 22: India’s longest and Asia’s second longest bridge, Dhola-Sadiya, is essentially a government’s claim to fame. Which is or was the government, guess?
A war of words for the credit over the bridge has been underway between the ruling BJP and the Opposition Congress. It all began when the SPG personnel keeping vigil of the bridge awaiting iuguration by Prime Minister rendra Modi on May 26 prevented former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi from reviewing the situation of the bridge earlier in the day today. Reacting to this, the former Chief Minister said that he had fallen prey to political conspiracies and was ‘framed as a terrorist’.
Gogoi said: “The BJP is taking credit for the Dhola-Sadiya bridge. Ninety 90 per cent works of the bridge construction were completed during the Congress. The foundation stone of the bridge was laid by the then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. In three years, the BJP government built only 10 per cent work of the bridge. We’re not ones who like to blow own trumpet. We could’ve beaten the drum while laying the foundation stone of the bridge. However, we didn’t.”
The comments from the former Chief Minister triggered at least two press meets – one against Gogoi at Atal Bihari Vajpayee Bhawan by the State BJP and the other at Rajiv Bhawan in favour of Gogoi by the APCC.
Addressing the media, senior State BJP leader Bijan Mahajan said: “The law of ture is that people become more mature with age. We do respect former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. However, we see that his maturity is falling as he’s growing up. Gogoi is expected to know the SPG Act that doesn’t allow anyone, including the Chief Minister, to visit a place for which SPG personnel are on security duty.”
Reacting to Gogoi’s statement — the BJP is reaping the harvest of the good work done by the Congress — on the Dhola-Sadiya bridge, Mahajan said: “The bridge is set to benefit the people of Assam, Aruchal Pradesh and the Ministry of Defense. The bridge is to play a crucial role in defending the country against Chi. Who laid the foundation stone of the bridge isn’t all important. What’s important is that the bridge is going to benefit people and the tion. The BJP is not one that’s going to be benefitted by the bridge. The bridge is going to benefit people.”
Reacting to Gogoi’s statement that ‘we could’ve beaten the drum while laying the foundation stone of the bridge’, Mahajan said: “Maybe, the UPA Government never thought that the bridge would be completed someday.”
State BJP general Dilip Saikia said: “It seems, Gogoi still feels he has the right to have all that a chief minister gets. This is despite the fact that the people of the State have elected Sarbanda Sonowal as the Chief Minister. He visited the New Saraighat Bridge and remained present at a function at the Samadhi Khetra of Dr. Bhupen Hazarika.”
APCC president Ripun Bora, on the other hand, told the media at Rajiv Bhawan later in the today that Gogoi, being an MLA and former Chief Minister, has every right to visit the bridge. “Then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and then UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi contributed much to the bridge. It was Dr. Singh who laid the foundation stone of the bridge. The BJP is publishing things relating to the bridge in such a way that the Congress did nothing for its construction. The bridge’s DPR, sanction, tendering, works, everything were done during the Congress regime. The main bridge and one of its approach roads were done during the Congress regime. Only the other approach road was done by the BJP Government. The treatment meted out to Tarun Gogoi today is condemble.”