The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Gogoi bid to erase poor marks blot

Guwahati, Nov. 8: Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi today submitted a comprehensive list of his government’s achievements to the Congress high command in the hope of an appraisal that will erase the stigma of the recent dressing down by the Paban Singh Ghatowar-led PCC.

Gogoi, one of the 14 Congress chief ministers to have assembled at Mount Abu with self-assessment files, submitted a 41-page report to buttress his claim that the government had fulfilled the promises in the party’s election manifesto.

Ghatowar had pulled up the Gogoi government for failing to “rise to the expectations of the people.”

The chief minister claimed that his government had restored a semblance of normality, set in motion development projects and improved the state’s fiscal health just over a year after inheriting a “demoralised administrative machinery, a bankrupt treasury and a vitiated law-and-order situation”.

On law and order, Gogoi said there had been a perceptible improvement in the “overall situation” in spite of the spurt in militant activity. There was no mention of the massacre of 21 people by the outlawed National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB), the mortar attack by the Ulfa on the Dispur capital complex or the October 30 encounter between police and two Ulfa militants in this capital city.

Instead, Gogoi claimed that his government had destroyed crime syndicates that were harming trade.

The chief minister skirted the problem of unemployment, too. He only mentioned that steps had been taken to reserve jobs for local candidates and shift the head offices of tea companies and Oil India Ltd. to Assam.

On the power sector, Gogoi said availability of power had increased from 2,837 million units in 1999-2000 to 3,366 million units in the last financial year. Losses incurred by the Assam State Electricity Board have shown a downward trend and operational losses have been reduced by Rs 72 crore over the previous level, he added.

The major part of Gogoi’s report focused on steps to safeguard the interests of the minorities. He said the minorities were sufficiently represented in his government, with eight of the 17 MLAs from the community becoming ministers.

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