With list of ?false promises?, Congress hits out at Narendra Modi

GUWAHATI: The long wait for has turned the line of claimants of credit for its completion longer with every passing year. A day after Prime Minister inaugurated the bridge and blamed Congress for stalling the project, the state unit of Congress took Modi on with a list of his ?false promises? to the people of Assam.
?The Prime Minister has resorted to outright misinformation to deny due credit to the Congress for good work done in the past,? leader of the opposition Debabrata Saikia said.

Saikia hit out at Modi, holding him accountable for a host of ?broken promises?, ranging from environmental concerns to infrastructure and the citizenship debate.

?Before coming to power, he promised to implement the Assam Accord and immediately deport all illegal migrants from Assam if the BJP formed the government in Assam in 2016,? Saikia said.

?Now,? he added, ?he is playing the dirty politics of illegal Hindu migrants versus illegal Muslim migrants and creating polarization in Assam by tabling and backing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.?

Another promise Modi had made before the 2016 assembly election was that the Nagaon and Cachar paper mills, which have been defunct for years, would be revived. ?For almost two years now, a Rs 1,990-crore revival package has been put in cold storage in the PM Office,? Saikia said.

Next on his list was the promise to grant Scheduled Tribe status to six communities of Assam ? Moran, Muttock, Koch-Rajbongshi, Tai Ahom, Chutia and the Tea Tribe. ?Now, that promise has turned into a joke,? Saikia said.

Besides, the privatization of 24 oilfields in the state, depriving ONGC and OIL, went ahead while chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and his ?fellow protectors of jati-meti-bheti? kept mum, he said. He also lashed out at the absence of an industrial policy for the northeast, which has meant funds for Assam have been reduced. ?Even for flood relief, the Modi government provided Rs 250 crore when the Assam government asked for Rs 3,000 crore,? he added.

Citing the Lower Subansiri hydel project, Saikia said the Centre?s attempt to relaunch the stalled project is an ?attempt to bypass environmental concerns as well as the threat to downstream river-side dwellers based in Assam.?

In contrast, Saikia said, the UPA government under Manmohan Singh had actually seen several development projects through.

?Both the bridges, Bhupen Hazarika Xominoy Xetu (Dhola-Sadiya bridge) and Bogibeel bridge, which were inaugurated by Modi, were almost completed by the UPA,? Saikia said. ?It was Dr Manmohan Singh who had given the Bogibeel bridge the ?national project? status. He nearly doubled the initial outlay of Rs 1,767 crore to Rs 3,230.02 crore. Construction of the Rs 950 crore Dhola-Sadiya bridge also began during his tenure in 2011,? he added.

He enlisted the four-lane highways in Assam, a National Institute of Design in Jorhat, a new Secretariat complex in Dispur, three new functional medical colleges, the Assam centre of the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology in Sivasagar district and the gas cracker project in ditrict as the UPA government?s achievements.

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