NAHARKATIA, March 31 – Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi was at his aggressive best while campaigning for the Congress candidate for Dibrugarh Lok Sabha seat, Paban Singh Ghatowar, at an election rally in Sasoni near here on Monday.
A sore throat was not enough to stop Gogoi from raising the electoral pitch for the grand old party. He claimed that Naharkatia witnessed development only during the Congress rule. “There was a time when there was the NDA at the Centre and the AGP government in Assam, but roads, hospitals, educational institutions and other infrastructure in Naharkatia never developed,” he claimed.
Gogoi listed the Food Security Act and the right to education as some of the big achievements of the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government. He also claimed that his government, backed by the Centre, took Assam in the path of peace. “We held talks with various insurgent groups with our sole motto of peace and development of the state,” he said.
Taking a jibe at Narendra Modi, he downplayed the Gujarat model of development and termed Modi as a friend of the rich and powerful. “Wind blows better in Assam than Gujarat and only the Congress understands the plight of the poor,” Gogoi said.
He raked up the Mahatma Gandhi assassination issue and claimed that Nathuram Godse belonged to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the same organisation who is behind Narendra Modi’s projection as the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) prime ministerial candidate. He termed Modi as “selfish and power hungry” and Rahul Gandhi and other Congress leaders as “epitome of sacrifice”. “In Assam the Modi balloon has already deflated,” he claimed.
Gogoi also took the opportunity to blast the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP). “During the AGP days, teachers didn’t get their salaries for months. We regularised it. They stopped all development works. We opened the door of development,” he added.
The rally was also addressed by Ghatowar, who is also the incumbent DoNER Minister. He listed several developmental works undertaken in the area during his tenure in the Lok Sabha. “We believe in action and implementation. We don’t have the habit of flaunting our achievements,” he said.
Local MLA and Cultural Affairs Minister Pranati Phukan, who also addressed the rally, blasted the BJP, now led by Sarbananda Sonowal, who once represented Dibrugarh in the Parliament. “He did nothing for the area,” she claimed.