GUWAHATI, Aug 1 - Lambasting the Central and the State Governments over inept handling of the flood situation, former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has literally been forced to decide on his proposed Assam visit to take stock of the situation only after exertion of tremendous public pressure.
�We hope the Prime Minister�s visit will not turn out to be a political gimmick. Modi has been forced to announce his Assam visit on account of the pressure exerted by all sections of the Assamese society,� Gogoi said.
He said that the Centre should give topmost priority to the flood and erosion problem of Assam.
Asked if he expects anything substantial from the Prime Minister�s visit, Gogoi replied in the negative.
He said that the Modi-led NDA regime has taken no steps to solve the flood and erosion problem of Assam during the last three years and claimed that the previous UPA regime of Dr Manmohan Singh had given more grants and aid to the State in these areas when compared to the present dispensation.
Gogoi said that Assam is yet to receive an amount totalling Rs 1,200 crore which was sanctioned by the previous UPA regime for relief work.
�On the one hand, Himanta Biswa Sarma claims that Assam is getting more funds from the Centre since the NDA Government came to power, and on the other hand Sarbananda Sonowal is seeking release of the aforementioned Rs 1,200 crore. Himanta is on record to have stated that the State Government has resources to tackle the problem. Then why did the Chief Minister visit New Delhi to seek funds. There is contradiction within the Government itself,� he said.
He said that the Modi dispensation is �ignoring� Assam not only in the matter of funds for flood relief and restoration work, but in other areas also, as evidenced by the scrapping of the Special Category State status and the NEIIPP.
�No Central Government has ever ignored Assam to the extent in which the present one is doing� Forget about dredging the Brahmaputra. First let me dredge the Bharalu and the Bahini rivers. They are trying to fool the people,� a caustic Gogoi remarked.
Gogoi termed the Sonowal Government as �most corrupt�. �Checkgates have been closed down, but prices of items are still going up. They claim there is no corruption, but the condition of the roads is getting worse,� he said.
He also accused the BJP of trying to foment divisiveness across the country and said institutional discrimination against Muslims and Dalits have increased manifold under the Modi regime.