SILCHAR, Sept 8 � Scaling up the attack on Congress, Union Minister of State for Sports, Youth and Skill Development Sarbananda Sonowal said the Congress in the past six decades has successfully looted and befooled the people of Barak Valley. The attitude of the State Government clearly shows that it lacks the will to develop the valley.
�Being in power both at the Centre and at the State for such a long period, the Congress could have ushered phenomenal development. But look, how well they have looted the valley depriving the people of basic connectivity,� the minister said.
Sonowal, who is here to add fillip to the campaign ahead of the by-poll in Silchar and Lakhipur constituencies said that a closer look at the condition of roads, bridges and highways dishes out the clear picture of how the funds have been misused. It was during the NDA regime that two major projects the Silchar-Lumding broad-gauge and the East-West corridor was sanctioned. But since then it has been a sorry tale of corruption and loot in this valley, Sonowal said.
Taking a jibe at the Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi who is also in the valley to woo the voters, the Union Minister said that the Chief Minister has no moral right to seek votes from the people as he has utterly failed to keep his commitment on the Rs 1000 crore special package, he made during the 2011 Assembly polls. �The Chief Minister must come out with statistics on the expenditure slabs of the promised fund,� Sonowal said.
Asked how serious is the government on the absence of the State Government from the meeting convened by him to discuss issues of North-east and Barak Valley in particular, the Union Minister said that the non attendance of the Chief Minister and his colleagues in the meeting proves Tarun Gogoi �is never interested for Barak Valley development.� Sonowal said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants development and said that the Central Government is ready to help and understand issues of the State Government. He went on to say that 15 Central ministers held a meeting on July 10 to discuss the problems of North-east as a whole covering Barak Valley. The six�hour�long discussion touched upon the various issues including the clearance from the Ministry of Forest and Environment for the 31 km stretch running through Borail Sanctuary for East�West Corridor, Cachar Paper Mill crisis among others. The minister also gave indications that Silchar is very much in the contention of being transformed into a smart city.