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Tarun Gogoi now looking for a hat-trick

By The Assam Tribune

GUWAHATI, May 21 (IANS) - With nine successive years in office and one year left in his present term, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi is now aiming for a political hat-trick by harping on the twin mantra of peace and development.

"It is due to the people's support and confidence on us (Congress government) that we are in power for nine years now and aiming to repeat the same success story in 2011 assembly elections," a jubilant Chief Minister told IANS.

"The general perception that there cannot be any development without peace was negated as we managed to accelerate the pace of development Assam while working towards achieving permanent peace in the state," he added.

A massive function is being organised in Guwahati on Sunday to mark the fourth anniversary of the present term of the Congress-led Tarun Gogoi government. He took oath as Chief Minister May 14, 2006.

"The mindset of the people of Assam has changed and everybody is now acknowledging the strides made in key sectors like infrastructure development, education, health, agriculture besides drastic improvement in the law and order front as well," the Chief Minister said.

The Congress swept successive polls, beginning with the 2001 assembly polls, by drubbing the main Opposition Asom Gana Parishad (AGP).

The victory juggernaut continued with the ruling party winning the 2006 State polls, local panchayat elections, besides faring well in the 2004 and 2009 parliamentary polls.

The success of the Congress is largely attributed to the follies of the Opposition. A fractured Opposition actually helped the ruling party to win successive polls.

"A weak Opposition in Assam actually helped the Congress in many ways since 2001," said Haider Hussain, editor of the Assamese daily Asomiya Pratidin.

Such has been the dominance of the Congress that even the Opposition admits that development works did take place in the past nine years of Gogoi's leadership.

"Out of 10 marks, I would give six marks in development works during the Congress government," said Mission Ranjan Das, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member in the State Assembly.

Assam Industry and Power Minister Pradyut Bordoloi said he gave seven marks to the government in the development sector.

"Am I not objective enough to give seven marks out of 10 in terms of development while my colleague from the BJP gave six marks," a beaming Bordoloi said, trying to vindicate claims by the Chief Minister that Assam saw an overall improvement in the development sector.

The law-and-order situation has by and large improved with all the major rebel groups lying low in recent years, barring the deadly Oct 30, 2008, serial explosions in the state that killed about 100 people.

"There was a time when people were scared to move in the streets after dusk. Today you find people moving around freely even after midnight," the Chief Minister said.

A number of shopping malls have sprung up in recent years, multiplexes in Guwahati run to full houses, while hotels and restaurants have mushroomed across Assam.

"These are indicators to an improved law-and-order situation," Gogoi said.

The Opposition parties, however, dismissed his claims.

"The performance of the government is a big zero. Corruption was at its peak during the past nine years," said AGP leader Atul Bora.

"It is a shame to find the Opposition saying that there is no development in the State, while the people of Assam had reposed faith in us in successive elections," the Chief Minister said.

But the biggest challenge before the government still remains the insurgency issue, besides boosting the economy.

"I know and admit that we have miles to go. There are problems on the insurgency front and the economy as well. I admit these are real challenges," Gogoi said candidly.

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Tarun Gogoi now looking for a hat-trick

GUWAHATI, May 21 (IANS) - With nine successive years in office and one year left in his present term, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi is now aiming for a political hat-trick by harping on the twin mantra of peace and development.

"It is due to the people's support and confidence on us (Congress government) that we are in power for nine years now and aiming to repeat the same success story in 2011 assembly elections," a jubilant Chief Minister told IANS.

"The general perception that there cannot be any development without peace was negated as we managed to accelerate the pace of development Assam while working towards achieving permanent peace in the state," he added.

A massive function is being organised in Guwahati on Sunday to mark the fourth anniversary of the present term of the Congress-led Tarun Gogoi government. He took oath as Chief Minister May 14, 2006.

"The mindset of the people of Assam has changed and everybody is now acknowledging the strides made in key sectors like infrastructure development, education, health, agriculture besides drastic improvement in the law and order front as well," the Chief Minister said.

The Congress swept successive polls, beginning with the 2001 assembly polls, by drubbing the main Opposition Asom Gana Parishad (AGP).

The victory juggernaut continued with the ruling party winning the 2006 State polls, local panchayat elections, besides faring well in the 2004 and 2009 parliamentary polls.

The success of the Congress is largely attributed to the follies of the Opposition. A fractured Opposition actually helped the ruling party to win successive polls.

"A weak Opposition in Assam actually helped the Congress in many ways since 2001," said Haider Hussain, editor of the Assamese daily Asomiya Pratidin.

Such has been the dominance of the Congress that even the Opposition admits that development works did take place in the past nine years of Gogoi's leadership.

"Out of 10 marks, I would give six marks in development works during the Congress government," said Mission Ranjan Das, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member in the State Assembly.

Assam Industry and Power Minister Pradyut Bordoloi said he gave seven marks to the government in the development sector.

"Am I not objective enough to give seven marks out of 10 in terms of development while my colleague from the BJP gave six marks," a beaming Bordoloi said, trying to vindicate claims by the Chief Minister that Assam saw an overall improvement in the development sector.

The law-and-order situation has by and large improved with all the major rebel groups lying low in recent years, barring the deadly Oct 30, 2008, serial explosions in the state that killed about 100 people.

"There was a time when people were scared to move in the streets after dusk. Today you find people moving around freely even after midnight," the Chief Minister said.

A number of shopping malls have sprung up in recent years, multiplexes in Guwahati run to full houses, while hotels and restaurants have mushroomed across Assam.

"These are indicators to an improved law-and-order situation," Gogoi said.

The Opposition parties, however, dismissed his claims.

"The performance of the government is a big zero. Corruption was at its peak during the past nine years," said AGP leader Atul Bora.

"It is a shame to find the Opposition saying that there is no development in the State, while the people of Assam had reposed faith in us in successive elections," the Chief Minister said.

But the biggest challenge before the government still remains the insurgency issue, besides boosting the economy.

"I know and admit that we have miles to go. There are problems on the insurgency front and the economy as well. I admit these are real challenges," Gogoi said candidly.