JORHAT, Aug 1 - Congress members led by Rajya Sabha MP and APCC president Ripun Bora and AICC secretary and former Jorhat MLA Rana Goswami on Friday held boat-ride protest from Nimatighat (Jorhat) to Kamalabari ghat (Majuli) to protest against the State Government’s failure to build a bridge between Nimatighat and Kamalabari.
The construction of the bridge is yet to start even after the then Union Minister for Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari laid its foundation stone on February 27, 2016 on the eve of Assam Assembly polls.
The stir by the Congress, titled ‘Nimatighatot Nimati Kanyar Bidai’ (Farewell to the silent bride at Nimatighat), was held to deplore the BJP Government’s failure to build the bridge in the past four-and-a-half years.
Before the protest, Ripun Bora told newspersons at Nimatighat here that they (Congress members) would travel on a boat from Nimatighat to Kamalabari (Majuli) to highlight the failure of the BJP-led Governments at the Centre and in the State to start construction of the bridge.
Bora said that he was referring to Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal as “silent bride” because he (Sonowal) never raised his voice to solve the problems of Assam as “he was always interested in protecting his chair”.
The APCC president further said that the Congress had launched the movement on Friday to bid “farewell” to Sonowal and appealed to the people of Majuli to oust him in the next Assembly elections in 2021 as he made “false promises” to them to get votes.
Bora alleged that prior to the 2016 State Assembly elections, Sonowal, then a Union Minister of State, brought Gadkari to the State to lay the foundation stone of the bridge amid much fanfare.
Bora stated that the laying of the foundation-stone contributed to Sonowal’s victory from the Majuli seat since the bridge had been a long-felt need of the people to give them respite from the arduous ferry trip across the Brahmaputra.
Bora further said that he had raised a question in Parliament as to when the bridge would be built and received a reply from the Government that there was no development in this regard.
Rana Goswami alleged that the Centre had not yet been able to come up even with the detailed project report of the bridge.