GUWAHATI, Dec 6 - Former Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta today said that a strong and efficient regional force is necessary for the overall development of Assam.
Addressing a press conference here today, Mahanta claimed that various development-oriented measures were undertaken during the two terms of the AGP governments headed by him in the 1980s and 1990s. �These had profound impact in bringing about economic growth in Assam, the legacy of which is visible till now.�
�The State achieved a lot during the period when regional forces were in power. The 90:10 formula of Central funding, setting up of new industries, sanctioning of four-laning projects etc., were all achieved during that period. And the legacy still survives. Industries were set up in Assam during the period of the rule of regional forces. Now industries are closing down and people are losing jobs,� he said.
He accused the BJP-led Central and State governments of failure on various fronts.
�Now nobody is happy with them (BJP). The ongoing farmers� protest is a significant event. We support the demand of the farmers,� said the senior AGP leader.
He accused the State government of failing to revive the sugar mills of Assam, including that of Kampur.
�The Nagaon Paper Mill and the Cachar Paper Mill closed down during the term of this government. The employees of these mills and their family members are now forced to come out onto the streets and protest,� Mahanta said.
He said that the BJP-led government has failed to uplift the State economically.
�We urge all the people of Assam to strengthen the regional political forces for the social, economic and political development of the State,� Mahanta said, adding that all the regional forces must also come closer.
He said that there is no reason for the BJP to interfere in the internal or election-related matters of the AGP.
�No prospective AGP candidate is going to seek ticket from the BJP. He or she will seek the ticket from the AGP,� said Mahanta. He also urged the AGP�s current leadership to take all the party workers into confidence.
The two-time Chief Minister said that BJP would not have been able to win many seats during the previous polls without the help of the AGP.
�The BJP came to power in alliance with the AGP and the BPF. They (BJP) should not forget this fact. But now they behave as if they are in government all by themselves,� Mahanta said.