Guwahati, Jan. 4: Assam has been able to provide 100 days of employment to only 824 of its 39,16,966 job-card holders, is ranked 30th in terms of gross domestic product in India and has the third highest crime rate in the country.
More such “revealing” information will be the crux of AGP’s “panchayat declaration” that will be released tomorrow to “expose” the Congress’s “tall” development-decentralisation claim. It will also list what AGP will do to improve things.
The Opposition party’s central executive, which met at the Ambari headquarters here today to formalise its poll strategy, cleared the declaration, which will be released in place of a manifesto. It also decided against any kind of tie-up with the BJP even at the “grassroots” level.
The declaration, prepared by a three-member committee comprising senior leaders Arun Sarma, Alaka Sarma and Gunin Hazarika, will focus on what the Congress has “not” done despite being in power since 2001 and having won back-to-back panchayat elections.
“Though Dispur was supposed to decentralise 29 departments, it has not done so in letter and spirit. Funds transferred are only those against flagship programmes such as IAY, NREGA and old-age pension. It is yet to disband the District Rural Development Agency, decision-making on rural infrastructure and appointments in primary schools are still taken at Dispur. Despite claims of rising per capita income, the state is placed at the bottom on the GDP scale,” a source privy to the contents told this correspondent. The executive also suggested inclusion of the alleged rape cases at Lakhimpur and Chirang to highlight the growing crimes against women.
The Congress, however, had a different take on devolution of power.
PCC president Bhubaneswar Kalita told The Telegraph: “There has been a lot of devolution but one thing needs to be kept in mind that we are a young democracy unlike the UK or the US. We are still learning and experimenting. Why 29 departments, more can be transferred, but are the panchayats ready to absorb the load? Capacity building and devolution of power have to be carried out simultaneously. It will take some time. We are pushing hard for inclusive growth.” He said the party would improve upon its earlier performance in the polls despite the pre-poll fracas.
At Jamuguri in Sonitpur district, a meeting was held today to protest against the alleged attempt by veteran Congressman Hiranya Bora and state NSUI president Parth Pratim Bora to malign the image of Sootea block Youth Congress president Pranjit Bhuyan by accusing him of assaulting Hiranya Bora in Tezpur during Wednesday’s candidate selection meeting.
The meeting also moved the PCC, seeking action against the duo.