BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, May 24: Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Sunday criticized the present BJP government at the Centre for not fulfilling the aspirations of the people of Assam in the last one year of its rule. Gogoi was speaking at the function marking completion of 14 years of his government.
“Compared to other political parties, the Congress government has done more development works. Before 2001 when we were not in power, the economy of the State was in doldrums and government employees were not paid their salaries on time. But in 2001 when we came to power, we started giving salaries to our employees on time and tried to fulfill our promises. We maged to control militancy that was in its high during the AGP days. We are still open to peace talks with insurgent groups if they are interested to come overground,” Gogoi said, adding, “We want to make the State prosper in every field and we need cooperation of the people to do it.”
The Chief Minister said, “Per capita income of the State has risen from earlier Rs 13,000 to Rs 49,000 now. The gross domestic product of the State has also increased. The welfare schemes which we have started will be continued and we will give salaries to our employees on time.”
Slamming the present Central government for reducing funds for different welfare schemes, Gogoi said, “On one hand, the BJP government at the Centre says it is concerned over the lack of development in Assam but on the other it has reduced Central funding to the State to a large extent.”
Gogoi said, “To root out the illegal foreigners problem in Assam, the then UPA government had started the NRC update process but the present BJP government is trying to hog the whole credit for it,” adding, “The BJP does not want to solve the illegal foreigners problem in Assam while the Congress does not indulge in politics over such a sensitive issue.”
The Chief Minister said a section is now carrying out negative campaign against the Congress but the people of the State are very much aware politically.
On the Lower Subansiri power project issue, Gogoi said, “The BJP was against the project when it was not in power at the Centre but now it is pushing for completion of the project. It’s a U-turn made by the BJP on the issue. The Congress party’s stand on the issue remains the same. We don’t change our stand.”
Gogoi said the present Central government is only giving importance to the protection of the Ganges but not to the protection of the Brahmaputra. “We will build a bridge over the Brahmaputra with our own funding,” he declared.
Criticizing Union Sports Minister Sarbanda Sonowal, Chief Minister Gogoi said, “What has Sonowal done for Assam as Union Sports Minister? Nothing. He chose Imphal for setting up a sports university but not Assam. He has done nothing so far for the development of sports infrastructure in the State.”
Other senior Congress ministers like Bhumidhar Barman, Sarat Borkotoky, Rockybul Hussain, Anjan Dutta, Chief Secretary Jitesh Khosla and few others also spoke on the occasion. Thousands of people gathered at the programme venue braving inclement weather.