HAILAKANDI, April 9 - Congress president Rahul Gandhi today reiterated that both the defunct paper mills of Assam will be revived within six months if the party comes to power.
Addressing a rain-hit election rally in support of Karimganj SC constituency candidate Swarup Das and Silchar candidate Sushmita Dev on the Panchgram paper mill premises in Hailakandi district, Gandhi said the Barak valley will be developed as trading hub as it shares borders with so many states. He said the Barak valley in southern part of Assam will be connected with other parts of the country for business development. He said if elected to power, the Congress will allow the youths of the region to start business even without licence for the first three years for economic self-sufficiency. They will also be provided loans, he added.
Criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for false assurances like payment of Rs 15 lakh to every citizen�s bank account, Gandhi said they will do and perform whatever promised to the people. He alleged that the BJP-led NDA government has even failed to provide pure drinking water in the villages of the country and ensured clean potable water in every village if the Congress came to power in the Centre.
Talking about uplifting the lot of the poor, Gandhi said the Nyuntam Aay Yojana (Nyay) will benefit five crore poor families of the country. He said the money will directly go to the woman member of the family. Gandhi also assured that they will reserve 33 per cent seats for women in both Parliament and Assembly. Regarding the ongoing NRC exercise and the Citizenship Amendment Bill, he asked the people not to be worried as genuine citizens will not be harassed if the Congress came to power.
The two constituencies of Barak valley will go to the polls on April 18.
Due to heavy rain and thundershower, Gandhi had to travel around 30 km by road from Silchar to Panchgram with All India Mahila Congress president and Silchar constituency�s Congress candidate Sushmita Dev.
Later a delegation of the HPC Paper Mills Revival Action Committee handed over a memorandum to Rahul Gandhi at Panchgram through Karimganj MLA Kamalakshya Dey Purkayastha. The memorandum highlighted the plight of the employees and workers of both the paper mills after suspension of their production.
It may be mentioned here that the employees have not received their salaries for the last 27 months and facing extreme hardship. A total of 51 in-service employees have also died, the memorandum said, seeking the intervention of Gandhi for revival of the paper mills if they come to power.