| Assam BJP president Sarbananda Sonowal (centre) releases the panchayat poll manifesto in Guwahati on Thursday. (PTI) |
Guwahati, Jan. 10: Assam BJP president Sarbananda Sonowal today urged the people to defeat the ruling Congress’s alleged design to settle illegal migrants in villages and forest areas through panchayati raj institutions.
Unveiling the party’s manifesto for the panchayat poll at the party office here today, Sonowal warned the voters that if Congress wins the election, it will use the panchayats to settle illegal migrants in the state to use them as vote bank in the future.
The BJP leader appealed to the people to remain vigilant against such attempts of the ruling party.
The three-phase panchayat election in Assam will commence from January 30, with the second and last phases of polling scheduled for February 6 and 12.
Sonowal said the BJP, if voted to power, will work towards eliminating corruption from the panchayat system and ensure true decentralisation of power and empowerment of rural bodies to execute development schemes.
He alleged that Congress workers are siphoning off panchayat funds meant for the welfare and development of the poor. “Congress has decentralised corruption and not power. The BJP will ensure that the common people actually benefit under the panchayati raj system,” said Sonowal.
He said if his party won the panchayat poll, it would help the women and youths in rural areas to become self-dependent.
According to the state BJP president, leaders and workers of the party will be visiting villages across the state to make people aware about rampant corruption by Congress in the panchayati raj institutions. “We will place all these facts and figures about rampant corruption before the people,” he said.
Sonowal alleged that during the Congress rule, the PDS had totally collapsed in the state as a result of which poor families had been deprived of foodgrain at a subsidised price.
Hinting that the BJP will also make price rise as the main issue during panchayat poll, the BJP manifesto carries a chart comparing the prices of commodities in 2004 during the BJP-led NDA rule at the Centre and prices during the UPA rule.
Some of the other issues highlighted in the manifesto are increase in agriculture production, development of agriculture sector, land reforms, development of water resources and minor irrigation projects, animal husbandry and poultry sectors, construction of rural houses, rural electrification, water supply, development of technical and vocational education, establishment of new libraries and development of existing ones, among others.