GUWAHATI, Jan 21 - In a statement here today, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said Union Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs Sarbananda Sonowal, instead of unleashing a misinformation campaign against former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the present Congress dispensation in Assam, must come out with a White Paper as to what the previous BJP-led NDA Government, headed by former Prime Minister AB Vajpayee and the present dispensation headed by Narendra Modi, did for Assam during its almost eight years in power.
�Sarbananda 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. �Narendra Modi had made promises galore during his Lok Sabha election campaign that BJP would resolve the major issues confronting Assam. 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, etc.� he said.
Gogoi asked Sonowal to explain that if PM Modi has so much of love, affection and concern for the people of the State, then why his Government had deprived the State of the Special Category State status, put under suspension the North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy, changed the funding pattern of Centrally-sponsored schemes and slashed funds for the Ministry of DoNER under the NLCPR and NEC.
Gogoi said PM Modi, during his recent visit to the State, did not utter a single word on the foreigners issue, flood and erosion, granting ST status to six ethnic communities, Lower Subansiri dam, the major poll planks on which his party bagged the maximum number of Lok Sabha seats.
�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,� Gogoi said, adding that the Centre has kept hanging in balance restructuring of the Brahmaputra Board into the North East Brahmaputra River Rejuvenation Authority.
The Chief Minister said while the Prime Minister talks big of �Make in India�, �Skilled India�, �Start Ups�, it has deprived Assam and other NE States of the Special Category State status and suspended the North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy, thus adversely affecting the development activities.
The Chief Minister said though the State Government had handed over stretches of National Highways (37, 37A, 52 and 53) to the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL), as per policy decision of the Central Ministry, the Corporation had neither taken up the construction activities nor undertaken maintenance work, leaving the State in the lurch. �If the NHIDCL is unable to carry out the work, then the Ministry should revert to its earlier policy and allow the State Government to develop and maintain these stretches of highways,� Gogoi said.
Gogoi said that the BJP-led Government has ignored the State�s Rs 1,350-crore proposal for establishment of Skill Development Centres in all the 219 development blocks of the State. �PM Modi talks of Skill India Mission, he has not responded to our proposal submitted in August 2014. Even Sarbananda Sonowal, who was then the Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, could do nothing on this front,� he added.
The Chief Minister said that he would be too happy to see the BTC or for that matter the State receiving �sufficient funds� in the ensuing Union Budget as promised by Sonowal.