|Ravi Shankar Prasad addresses the news conference in Guwahati on Friday. Picture by UB Photos
Guwahati, Jan. 10: The BJP today trained its guns on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Congress-led UPA regime ahead of the Lok Sabha elections for the “deprivation” of Assam.
The party has set up a sub-committee to prepare a “chargesheet” against the alleged failings of the central government. Ravi Shankar Prasad, deputy leader of the BJP in Rajya Sabha and head of the sub-committee, said today that Assam would feature prominently on the “chargesheet” since the Prime Minister has been a Rajya Sabha member from the state since 1991.
Speaking at a news conference here today, Prasad said, “We urge the Prime Minister to please tell the country what he did for Assam, the state he has represented for the past 22 years.”
He said the Prime Minister has used Assam only for his political advancement without giving anything in return.
“We also want to know why Assam has been deprived when so many government schemes were implemented in Rahul Gandhi’s Lok Sabha constituency of Amethi and Sonia Gandhi’s Rai Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh” he said. Prasad said during his tenure as MP and Prime Minister, Singh has not been able to set up even a single big industry in the state.
He said that during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee regime of the BJP-led NDA, maximum emphasis was laid on infrastructure development in the Northeast and a separate ministry (DoNER ministry) was created for this purpose. “The UPA government has curtailed funds for the ministry, which in turn has slowed the progress of many important infrastructure projects,” Prasad said.
He assured the people that his party would oppose the Land Boundary Agreement (Constitutional Amendment) Bill. He labelled the introduction of the constitutional amendment bill in the Rajya Sabha just before the winter session was declared closed sine die as a “conspiracy”.
The BJP leader condemned Singh, Rahul and Sonia Gandhi for “remaining silent” on the attacks on Hindus in Bangladesh. He also criticised the Centre for not sealing the Indo-Bangladesh border in Assam for political interest since the illegal migrants “comprised votebank for the Congress. “Rahul and Sonia Gandhi have forgotten the Assam Accord, which was signed by Rajiv Gandhi,” he alleged.
“There has been unabated rhino poaching as the Assam government was not acting against illegal migrants living near the Kaziranga National Park and are involved in poaching because they act as a vote bank,” he alleged.
Prasad, along with BJP deputy leader in Lok Sabha Gopinath Munde and spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman, who are also in the sub-committee, are in Guwahati since yesterday to take the views from a cross-section of society, to draw out its “chargesheet” on the theme “The Dark Decade of Malgovernance”.
They have met intellectuals, experts and members of the party’s units in the northeastern states and heard their grievances against the UPA government for incorporating in the “chargesheet”.
Saying that only the BJP and not the Aam Aadmi Party could be a viable alternative to the Congress, Prasad dared Arvind Kejriwal to take action against Sheila Dixit for corruption during the Commonwealth Games.
On the Devyani Khobragade episode, Prasad said the Centre could have handled the issue better and that the foreign policy of the Manmohan Singh government was a “disaster”.