PCC president Ripun Bora in Guwahati on Friday. Picture by UB Photos
Guwahati, Aug. 19: The Assam PCC today demanded an apology from chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Union road transport minister Nitin Gadkari to the people of Majuli and Sivasagar districts, for allegedly deceiving them.
Assam PCC president (in-charge) Ripun Bora told reporters at the party's head office here that Sonowal and Gadkari laid the foundation stones of two bridges in the two districts without studying their feasibility.
One of the bridges was to connect Disang Mukh and Takeliphuta and the other to connect Neematighat and Kamalabari across the Brahmaputra.
The foundation stone was laid before the last Assembly elections where people of Majuli and Sivasagar districts voted in favour of the BJP and its allied parties. Majuli is Sonowal's constituency.
Bora said he had asked the road transport minister in Parliament on August 8 when work on the two bridges would begin.
"I was informed that work can begin after completion of issues like feasibility study and detailed project report, land acquisition and clearance of forest and environment clearance," he said.
"Usually, the foundation stone of a work is laid after getting all clearance for it. But in case of the two bridges, it was done only keeping the election in mind, not with the real intention of helping the people. Sonowal and Gadkari had deceived the people of Majuli and Sivasagar districts. They should apologise to the people," said Bora.
He said the state government's move to allow 50 government schools under the Board of Secondary Education, Assam (Seba) to migrate to CBSE is an attempt to weaken Seba.
"It is the responsibility of all of us to improve Seba. We all want our students to perform well in medical and the engineering entrance tests. But allowing schools to migrate to CBSE on the pretext of helping students in these entrance tests is nothing but an attempt to weaken the Board. We will oppose the move," said Bora.
Bora also criticised the Centre and the state government for their "failure" to contain price rise.
"Retail inflation has increased to 3.55 per cent from 1.62 per cent in the past 23 months. If it continues, the inflation rate will be 8 per cent in the next three years," he said.
"The BJP-led Assam government has added to the price rise by increasing VAT. People's lives have become miserable. They are struggling to buy essential commodities. There has not been any noticeable effort on the part of the government to check price rise," Bora said.
He said the prices of petrol and diesel have not decreased despite a drop in the price of crude oil in the international market from US $115 per barrel in 2013 to US $46 per barrel. "So far, the BJP government at the Centre has increased excise duty on petrol and diesel nine times in the past two years," he said.