CM’s ‘mindless’ statements causing public annoyance
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, February 7: There are many yardsticks to determine the development of a state. But Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has his own set of yardsticks to measure progress. He sees development when ’girls go to beauty parlours and get expensive hairdos’ or with ’more and more people going for picnics’, or ’number of hotels increasing in the State’, or ’prices of land rising’ and so on.
Can these be the indicators of development of a State? The Sentinel talked to a cross–section of people about the yardsticks developed by the Chief Minister. The respondents rubbished the Chief Minister’s flippant attitude to development, with most of the state still wallowing in backwardness. They maintained that development is a long–term process which must generate long–term results.
Here are some of the reactions:
Meera Saikia, a retired professor here, said, “Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi sometimes talks in a light–hearted manner without much thinking. I don’t say that light mood is bad but he must remember that he is the Chief Minister of the State and his statements should carry some weight.”
Paban Sarma, a retired government official here, said, “I have seen several of our past Chief Ministers, but this is the first time I have seen a Chief Minister with such funny yardsticks for development. For me, permanent infrastructure development is one of the indicators of a region’s progress and Assam lags far behind in this sector. Increase in the number of shopping malls, spiralling cost of land, more girls visiting beauty parlours, as said by our Chief Minister, cannot be the indicators of the State’s progress. It is sheer nonsense”
Raktim Chowdhury, an entrepreneur here, opined, “In the last 14 years, the Gogoi government has failed to take concrete developmental measures in sectors like power and irrigation. Progress of a region is directly related to development in these critical sectors. Where is the development in these sectors in our State?”
Ramesh Jain, another trader based in the city, pointed out: “Compared to earlier State governments, the Gogoi government has maged to do some developmental works in the State, which we can’t deny. But many other problems are there in the State, mainly on the economic front, which need to be properly addressed. Most of these problems still exist due to the government’s inefficiency, lack of foresightedness, bureaucratic hurdles, corruption and other factors. Due to these factors, the development process could never gather steam in the State the way it should have.”
Pranjal Bora, a college student here, said, “Our State doesn’t provide job opportunities like other states. There is no institution of repute for IT education here. Thousands of young people of the State migrate to other parts of the country for education and jobs. What has the State government done in this regard? Going to picnics and all the yardsticks of progress as told by the Chief Minister are meaningless.”
Swikrita Bordoloi, a housewife in the city, complained: “The State government has completely failed to control skyrocketing prices of essential commodities. People like us have not been getting sugar through public distribution system for long. LPG supply is yet to be streamlined by the government. People in many villages of the State still buy kerosene from the black market. Where is the development?”
Iftikar Hussain, another retired government servant here, said, “In sectors like health, roads and education, some development has taken place in the recent past, but the present situation in these sectors is not encouraging. The State government has failed to maintain the momentum of development. So, Tarun Gogoi must refrain from issuing such mindless statements.”