By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, May 30: It was a war of words between two ‘fighters’ --- Union minister Anth Kumar and Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi here today. While Gogoi was the first to bowl a yorker, Kumar too didn’t spare any effort to hit him over the fence. The money for construction of a permanent campus for tiol Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) at Guwahati may have come from the BJP government at the Centre, but the veteran Congressman in Gogoi did not fail to point out that it was he who had demanded the institute for Assam in the first place. Speaking at foundation stone laying ceremony for permanent campus of NIPER, Gogoi said, “I was the one who got NIPER sanctioned for Assam, long before anyone could understand the importance of it. I am sure even Kartaka (Anth Kumar’s home state) does not have a NIPER.”
While Rs 550 crore to build the campus has come from the BJP government, Gogoi pointed out that the 89 acres of land for the institute had been allotted by the State government back in 2009 itself.
The three-time CM also used the opportunity to highlight progress in the State in different sectors, including tourism and civil aviation (ministries held by Kumar in the Atal Behari Vajpayee government), and said, “If someone refuses to acknowledge the rapid strides the State has made in the last 10-15 years, I have to say it is for political purposes.”
However, Gogoi was quick to add, “I don’t want to talk about politics in this government function. We will work together with the BJP for development of the State.”
“I am a fighter and I will fight back if any injustice is done,” Gogoi added, to applause from the audience.
Not to be outdone, Kumar hit back at the CM with his own words and said, “Like Tarun da, I am also a fighter. We both are fighters but we are also friends.”
Kumar pointed how the modernization project of Guwahati airport was sanctioned under him and the airport was remed Lokpriya Gopith Bordoloi Airport, after the first premier of Assam and a Congress leader.
“My motto is to work and work for four-and-a-half years and then, fight it out in the last six months for elections. But that are is a different one. We are here for development and we all will work together to achieve it,” Kumar added.