FROM OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, Dec 28: Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday decried the inconsistent and indifferent role of the Centre towards development of the Northeast and said that the dispensation at the Centre needs to work corresponding to its high rhetoric for the development of Assam and North East.
In a statement Gogoi said, “While I welcome the much vaunted announcement of Assam Vikash Yoja by Sushma Swaraj, I really cast the shadow of my disbelief how Assam will see the ray of Vikash when the NDA withdrew the Special Category Status to Assam, suspended Northeast Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy, changed the funding pattern and discontinued several schemes sponsored by the Centre.” Gogoi also said that the Centre’s decision to withhold nearly 17 thousand crore rupees as petroleum royalty and other development funds due to Assam was a great injustice meted out to the State.
Stressing that the Centre did not disburse funds for flood and erosion magement besides turning a blind eye to releasing funds meant for maintence of tiol Highways in the State including Barak Valley, Gogoi said, “By announcing Vikash Yoja, the Centre is trying to hoodwink the people of Assam once again.”
Chief Minister Gogoi also said Exterl Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj invariably missed out certain issues of utmost importance to the North East like Centre’s policy on taking foreign tions when latter’s reluctance on accepting the declared foreign tiols comes to the fore, opening up river-transport to boost trade and commerce, insurgent outfits given refuge in neighbouring country, re-opening of Stillwell road, construction of dams in Chi so on and so forth.
Upping his ante Gogoi said that Sushma Swaraj even evaded direct interaction with the media and intellectuals regarding vital issues concerning the State. On the other hand referring to the last visit of Congress MP Rahul Gandhi to Assam, Gogoi said that Rahul preferred to spend time with Self Help Groups and women entrepreneurs and had discussion with the media fraternity.
Though the NDA government at the Centre takes credit of starting the broad gauge rail service connecting Brahmaputra and Barak Valley, Gogoi said the same was initiated during the time of the UPA regime and the NDA has no role in this regard. Regarding foreign investment that the NDA Government at the Centre always boasts of, Gogoi said, “A statement from the Centre on how much did the Centre bring in for the development of Assam will portray Centre’s real love for the development of Assam.”