By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Jan 20: Koidhora and Raj Bhawan continue to remain poles apart, no matter who holds the gubertorial office. The relationship between Raj Bhawan and Koidhora soared when PB Acharya was the Governor, and now the atmosphere is set for a fresh bout of duel with former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi spitting fire on the present Governor and the Chief Minister today.
Gogoi today accused Governor Banwarilal Purohit of acting on behalf of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS): “The Raj Bhavan here is gradually turning into an RSS office,” Gogoi said addressing a press conference here. He said the Governor and the RSS have been hatching a conspiracy to divide the greater Assamese society into Hindu and Muslim.
“The Governor has recently termed Ahom General Lachit Borphukan as Saviour of Hindutva, insulting all the people in Assam. Yesterday he termed Jawaharlal Nehru as an atheist. There is no logic behind such statements. However, these are not isolated statements but a calculated move to divide the society in Assam on religious lines,” Gogoi said.
“Earlier also there were Governors in Assam appointed by the tiol Democratic Alliance (NDA) government. But we have not seen any Governor behaving like the present one,” Gogoi said.
The former Chief Minister also dared Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal and asked him to publish the number of times he (Gogoi) had used chopper in the first year of his term in 2001 and how many time the incumbent Chief Minister used helicopter in his first year in office. “I’m not against the use of helicopter by Chief Ministers. When the need arises, they have to avail the facility to save time. However, I’ve never used choppers for any persol purpose,” Gogoi said, hinting at Sonowal using a chopper from Gohpur to lbari recently to attend the persol Masa Puja of a BJP leader.
Gogoi also came down heavily on Sonowal for his government’s move to change the me of existing welfare schemes and branding them as new ones. “The Prime Minister’s Awas Yoja (PMAY) launched on Thursday is not a new scheme. The existing scheme was Indira Awas Yoja (IAY). Similarly, the existing Jawaharlal Nehru tiol Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) is converted into Atal Mission for Renovation and Urban Transportation (AMRUT). The Metro Rail Project was started by my government. It was announced in the annual Budget of 2013. My government did publish the feasibility report. The present dispensation at Dispur is doing the DPR. Can the DPR be made all of a sudden?” Gogoi questioned.
Reacting to the grilling of former Social Welfare Minister Akon Bora by the anti-corruption sleuths, Gogoi said: “Why’s Social Welfare Department alone? Why not the Education and Health Departments? When I was the Chief Minister I had asked the minister to buy generic medicines, but he ignored. He had to buy generic medicines only after the Centre threatening him of stopping fund flow. The Centre had also asked the department to form a new corporation for buying of medicines. He formed the corporation too late.”
When asked who the minister is, Gogoi only said that his is a me known to all.
“The new government often talks on security of Jati, Mati and Bheti (race, land and foundation). But, on the contrary, while the government shows seriousness towards updating the tiol Register of Citizens (NRC), it has also plans to amend the Citizenship Act to give citizenship to those who came from Bangladesh,” he said.
Also, since the ground-level staff of the Directorate of NRC are not getting their salaries, they have stopped work, Gogoi pointed out. He also criticized the government’s move to forcibly implement the cashless system in the tea garden areas of Assam and said that people’s opinion and wishes must be taken into consideration in a democracy.
“There is no banking infrastructure in the tea gardens and no proper education, and the government is trying to forcefully implement the cashless system among them,” he said.