'Stop spreading cards, come out with factsheet on performance'
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, Jan 21: Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Thursday dared Union Minister of State Sarbanda Sonowal to come out with a ‘White Paper’ on what the erstwhile BJP government and the present government headed by Prime Minister rendra Modi did for Assam instead of spreading cards against former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and the Congress government in Assam.
In a statement here today, Gogoi said “Sarbanda Sonowal cannot hoodwink the people of Assam by making false statements that the erstwhile Congress-led UPA Government virtually did nothing for Assam in the past 10 years of its term and the present Congress dispensation in Assam in the past 15 years. People can witness the development on different fronts like roads, health and education. The State has surpassed even big States like Gujarat in some key parameters,” he said.
Gogoi said the Modi-led Government after its total failure to usher in ‘acche din’ has been trying to divert people’s attention by spreading false propaganda against the Congress government in Assam.
“rendra Modi had promised galore that it would resolve the major issues confronting Assam during his Lok Sabha campaign. But after becoming the Prime Minister he has taken U-turns on issues like pushing back Bangladeshis, stopping rhino killings, lower Subansiri dam, granting ST status to six ethnic communities, et al,” he said.
Gogoi said PM Modi during his recent visit to the State did not utter a single word on foreigners’ issue, flood and erosion, granting ST status to six ethnic communities, lower Subansiri dam, major poll planks on which his party bagged the maximum number of Lok Sabha seats.
The Chief Minister said if PM Modi loves the people of Assam from the bottom of his heart then why he did not find time to take stock of their plight during the floods in 2014 and 2015. “Not to speak of releasing funds sought by the State for rehabilitating the flood victims and huge infrastructure damage, the Centre did not release a single penny under the NDRF. The SDRF funds released to Assam are the State’s dues and the Centre has not done any kind of favour by releasing the funds,” he said, adding that the Centre has kept hanging in balance restructuring of the Brahmaputra Board into North East Brahmaputra River Rejuvetion Authority.
Gogoi said that the BJP-led Government has ignored the State’s proposal for Rs 1350 crore for establishment of Skill Development Centres in all 219 development blocks of the State. “PM Modi talks of Skill India Mission, he has not given any response to our proposal submitted in August 2014. Even Sarbanda Sonowal who was then the Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship could do nothing on this front,” he added.
Countering Sonowal, Gogoi said being the Chief Minister he has every right to announce new fincial packages to different communities so that they can surge ahead towards the path of progress and prosperity. “I have every right to announce new packages for welfare of every community. Sonowal has no right to question me,” he said adding that the BJP-led Government is adopting discrimitory attitude against other tribal communities while adopting a soft corner towards the BPF with whom it has entered into an alliance for political gains. “If we have to ensure just and equitable development, then all tribal communities, SC, ST, OBC and minorities have to get special packages. You cannot adopt a discrimitory and lopsided policy to appease leaders of a particular community just for political gains. Our Rs 1000 crore package will cover each and every segment of the society,” he said.
Refuting Sonowal’s claim that the NRC update process started during the tenure of the present BJP-led NDA government, Gogoi said, “Sonowal is making blatant lies that the NRC updation work started during the tenure of BJP-led NDA Government. The people know that the modalities were worked out during the Congress-led UPA Government’s rule and the updation work started thereafter. Sonowal cannot hoodwink the people….they know his game plan.”
Gogoi said Sonowal must come out with a reply as to what he or his Government has done for the flood victims of Dhemaji district. “Let Sonowal come out with factsheet as to what he or his Government has done for the rehabilitation of the flood affected people of Dhemaji district. When erosion is a major problem, why his Government has changed the funding pattern of Flood Magement Programmes?” he quipped.