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Cong to study dam fallout

Guwahati, Oct. 30: The Congress today held back-to-back brainstorming sessions to take on the Opposition on the mega dam issue.

While the Congress Legislature Party met in the Assembly this morning, PCC office-bearers met in the afternoon to chalk out a strategy to contain the anti-dam movement by rival parties, the developments indicating that the ruling party was feeling the heat on the issue.

Assam PCC president Bhubaneswar Kalita, who was accorded a grand welcome on his return from Delhi today after his reappointment, attended the party meeting at the Satyanath Bora Bhawan near the Circuit House.

“Mega dams to harness the hydropower potential in the state and the region as a whole are not a new thing. It has been on in Assam for a long time. At this point, the dam is not the main concern but the problems arising out of the dams are,” he said.Kalita said there should be a comprehensive study on the probable damage, ill affects and downstream impact of the dams in Assam.

“We are still having discussions on the issue of the dams. We are also going to discuss and take the issue to the grassroots level. However, the party is going to take a decision soon,” he said.

Kalita, who assumed charge today, said there was a tremendous responsibility on the party and the party workers ahead of the 2011 polls.

At the nearly two-hour-long CLP meeting held earlier, Gogoi spoke on the dam issue while power minister Pradyut Bordoloi made a Power Point presentation on the steps being taken to ensure that Assam does not suffer from the downstream impact of the Lower Subansiri dam.

Those present were also briefed on how the AGP and the AASU, who are now at the forefront of the anti-dam agitation, had “pressurised” the Centre to construct of the dam to ease the flood and power situation in the state.

Though the two-hour meeting did not oppose the construction of the dams, it was decided that Dispur would be moving Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the issue to check any adverse impact on the state as well as to ensure that they get adequate power from the dam.

“Another meeting will soon be held to formulate a strategy to silence the Opposition which is spreading misinformation campaign for political gains,” one of the legislators said.

Kalita and Gogoi warmly greeted each other at the Rajiv Bhawan to show that everything was hunky dory within the party, with Kalita in his speech “asserting” the party was “united and will remain united”.

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