SILCHAR, Jan 28 - According to Susmita Dev, the Congress MP from Silchar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi might be forced to change his attitude towards the development of the North-East if the BJP fails to come to power in the ensuing Assembly elections in the State.
Interacting with journalists here on Tuesday, Dev said, �Of all the States going to polls this year, the BJP sees a glimmer of hope in Assam alone. But the manner in which things are unfolding (indicating at the possibility of a BJP-AGP alliance), my understanding is that if the BJP faces defeat, Modi might change his attitude towards the development issue of the North-East.�
It may be mentioned that since Modi became the Prime Minister, he has reportedly shown a special interest in the development of the North-East, and many ministers and leaders have been visiting the region to know the problems faced by the people here.
Talking more on the issue, Dev said that the people in the Barak Valley might be happy with the BJP for fulfilling their long-standing demand of the Silchar-Lumding broad gauge railway line, but they are dissatisfied with the party representative from Silchar to the Assembly. �Anti-incumbency is against the sitting MLA and in the ensuing election, it will be easier to defeat Dilip Paul than the BJP,� the Silchar MP maintained.
Asked about the current status of the Silchar-Saurashtra Mahasadak, Dev stated that the necessary paper works have been sent to the ministry concerned and it is up to the Centre to take any further decision in this respect.
Asked why the Congress felt that it was walking on a slippery ground despite having the majority and what keeps Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi commenting on the alliance options with the AIUDF, Dev evaded a clear-cut answer. However, the daughter of former Union minister Santosh Mohan Dev recollected the results of the 2009 elections and said: �Back then, the fight was for leadership and the results were not based on religious polarisation.�
She assumed that if AIUDF supremo Badruddin Ajmal fields strong candidates and the BJP is able to pick up at least 50 seats, Ajmal�s political importance might suffer a setback. �People of the State are intelligent and things will not be the way Ajmal wishes them to be,� she said, reacting to the reported statements by Ajmal beckoning Muslims to unite against Hindus.
Moreover, Dev admitted that it is the voters of her constituency who top her priority list and she has suggested to the State election manifesto committee to come up with a separate �wish list� for the Barak Valley which should mention a separate vision for the valley with emphasis on power distribution, improved marketing options, etc.
She also stated that she would visit Bangladesh after the Assembly elections to invite Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to visit the Barak Valley to enhance the trade possibilities between India and the neighbouring country.