Silchar, Dec. 12: Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi appears to be in a quandary over what is being described as an “unprecedented promise” made by him during his election campaign near this town in the run-up to last year’s Assembly polls.
Gogoi had said that if elected he would grant a financial bounty of Rs 1,000 crore for the development of the backward Barak districts.
The promise is yet to be implemented.
A six-member team of Barak legislators led by public health engineering minister from Hailakandi district, Goutam Roy, yesterday called on Gogoi on the Assembly premises.
Gogoi made it amply clear to the delegation that there would not be a one-time bounty of this financial grant for the development of the three Barak valley districts, but said some development benefits for the Barak districts were in the offing.
Speaking to Barak legislators on the sidelines of the Assembly session yesterday at his chamber in the legislature, Gogoi only assured the team of his party MLAs that instead of a one-time grant of Rs 1,000 crore for Barak valley his government would see to it that some projects, meant for Barak districts, could immediately be prioritised for this region.
After this meeting, Roy quoted Gogoi as having stated that some development projects for the Barak districts would definitely figure in the next state budget.
Gogoi, however, did not mention if his promise includes a slew of schemes for Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi districts.
The chief minister said a nodal officer from among the senior officials in the state would be appointed soon to identity the priority projects for developments of Barak districts.
Poll analysts here said this promise by Gogoi, aired at an inter-state bus terminus at Ramnagar on the western fringes of this town, had acted as a catalyst to garner votes in the last Assembly polls for his party.
The Congress swept the last polls from Barak districts held over 15 months ago by winning 13 out of a total of 15 seats from its districts, mainly banking on this promise.
The nine Congress MLAs from the Barak valley districts, who included party stalwarts like Goutam Roy, D.P. Goala and Sushmita Roy, early this year had requested Gogoi to release the promised fund of Rs 1,000 crore at one go.
Immediately afterwards, two senior legislators in Barak districts — Abdul Muhib Mazumdar and Manlal Goala — presented an ambitious scheme of Rs 1,000 crore divided into two packages.