Jorhat, March 18: Firebrand BJP youth leader and vice-president of the Assam unit of the party, Kamakhya Prasad Tasa today dared chief minister Tarun Gogoi to jointly visit rural areas with a BJP delegation to prove Gogoi’s claim of development in the state.
Tasa threw the gauntlet at a meeting held here this afternoon in which over 1,500 people, including women and members of Congress and AGP of Jorhat and adjoining Golaghat and Sivasagar districts, joined the BJP.
Today’s meeting was organised after six days of a similar meeting held here, in which about 1,200 people, including many from Congress and AGP, joined the BJP in the presence of its state unit president Sarbananda Sonowal. Santanu Pujari, a Jorhat-based journalist of Upper Assam, was among those who joined BJP today.
Tasa, who is BJP’s candidate for the Jorhat Lok Sabha seat, came down heavily upon Gogoi’s claim of development by charging that largescale corruption has taken place in the name of development during Congress rule since 2001.
Tasa, who hails from the tea tribe community and was a former president of the Assam Tea Tribes Students’ Association, will be taking on sitting Congress MP and former union minister B.K. Handique, who has been wining the Jorhat seat since 1991. In the 2009 elections, Tasa was fielded by the BJP from Jorhat but Handique managed to retain the seat.
He said the Congress-led government has failed on all fronts and was trying to “fool” the people by making false claims of development, which was not fit to be compared with the “real development work” happening in Gujarat under the leadership of Narendra Modi, the party’s prime ministerial candidate.
“The chief minister has been making tall claims of development happening across Assam. If development is really happening then Gogoi should jointly visit the rural places with us. We will show him large areas of Assam where reality is quite contrary to the claims,” Tasa said.
Tasa pointed out largescale financial anomalies in the Rs 100-crore drinking water project in Titabar (Gogoi’s constituency).
He said the government has spent crores of rupees to check erosion by the Brahmaputra in Neemati Ghat (off Jorhat) but erosion was still continuing.
The BJP leader charged Gogoi’s government with only wooing the people with sops like rice for Rs 3 per kg for poor families, distributing mosquito nets and blankets, as there has been no real development.
Challenging the CM’s development claim, Tasa said there were about 20 lakh unemployed youths in the state and about five lakh youths worked outside Assam as there were no employment opportunities available in Assam.
BJP vice-president (Assam unit) and party spokesperson Siddartha Bhattacharjee, while welcoming the new members, said with each passing day the party was gaining strength with large numbers coming forward to join the BJP across the state.