Silchar, February 14: Pradip Dutta Roy, who had been a dedicated Congress leader and worker since 1996, resigned from Congress in protest against the ‘anti-Bengali and anti-Barak Valley attitude’ of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and his self-centred policies. In fact, by virtue of his being a spokesperson and secretary of APCC as well as an important functiory of the district committee, his influence and sway in the party was quite deep and impacted many a crucial decision on development. Moreover, he held various responsibilities.
Addressing a press-meet here today with his supporters, Dutta Roy said, “I joined Congress with the sole objectives of serving the people of Barak Valley and resolve the various problems under which this isolated and almost marooned zone suffered.” But, his long association with the party for long 19 years, he could achieve little or do anything of expectation for the Valley. He reminded he was basically a student leader who spearheaded the historic movement under the banner of All Cachar-Karimganj-Hailakandi Students’ Association (ACKHSA) for a central university for this backward areas of Barak Valley, N C Hills and Karbi Anglong districts.
The movement that started in 1983 had significant impact on the Centre and the State and ultimately the demand and dream of a central university became fruitful. The Union Government of the time had to bow down before the unprecedented mass movement and in 1994 was laid the foundation stone of a central university, now med as Assam University. With his success as the President of ACKHSA, Dutta Roy said he decided to join Congress to give a new direction and dimension to the party and devote himself to the cause of people and the Valley.
Dutta Roy did not mince any words to say that he was badly let down by the ‘anti-Bengali and anti-Barak Valley’ attitude of Congress. He cited specific instances of Silchar-Lumding BG and East-West Corridor among others. The work on BG remained stagnt and little headway could be made until the Modi Government took over power at the Centre and laid priority on its completion. The East-West Corridor could not be completed as the state government of Tarun Gogoi was not giving forest clearance through the proposed Borail Wild Life Sanctuary despite repeated please from the Centre.
Pradip Dutta Roy said he was also disappointed by the lack of sense of discipline in the party. There was dictatorship and autocracy. Tarun Gogoi encouraged, as he added to say, ‘nepotism and favouritism’. This had weakened the party and led to the frustration and resentment among the workers and leaders of the different rank. The recently held civic poll results indicated it. It had become a minister and MLA based party. No importance was given to members and workers. He cited yet another instance of Tarun Gogoi’s arbitrary style of functioning.
Dutta Roy said on the eve of Assembly Elections of 2011, Chief Minister assured package of Rs.1000 crore for Barak Valley if the people voted Congress on all the 15 seats. 14 seats went to Congress. People kept their words, not the Chief Minister. Only Rs.180 crore was given and it was mentioned by Former Cabinet Minister Gautom Roy. He gave yet another bluff on the eve of civic polls by assuring package of Rs.1000 crore. When asked by the media and the opposition, he put the responsibility on Sarbanda Sonowal, Union Minister in Modi Government, and white-washed his hands with the statement that the Centre would make the amount available. Dutta Roy calling it a ‘white-lie’ asked, “Did Sarbanda give the assurance?”
Dutta Roy said there was no future in Congress and the prospect of it remaining an all India party was dim. Going back to his ACKHSA days, he pointed out the student movement was also launched for the socio-economic development of this Valley. After becoming an active member of Congress, he thought he could do something. But, he failed. After careful thought and consideration, “I have filly decided to quit Congress. My future course of action will be decided in consultation with my close associates and well-wishers.” He sent in his resigtion letter to APCC president, Anjan Dutta.