DIBRUGARH, Feb 28 - The just-declared Railway Budget is being termed as the latest instance of the BJP’s secret “anti-Assam agenda”.
This view is held by not a small group of informed citizens, but by almost all youth and student groups of the State and a wide section of the local population. A wide pervading local view is also that the State’s BJP MPs have once again failed to deliver anything of substance to Assam in the Railway sector this year also.
Sarbananda Sonowal and his BJP MPs of the State may try to put up a brave face, but the fact is that the Assam BJP leaders failed miserably in bringing any worthy Railway scheme to Assam this year, said Rubul Borah, a Congress leader here. He said the Bogibeel bridge has progressed this much because the then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh granted national project status to the bridge.
Borah said the BJP’s “secret anti-Assam agenda” includes a plan to make the ethnic Assamese population of the State politically irrelevant. He asked why the Centre has not appointed Assamese persons to top posts in PSUs like BCPL and OIL, despite there being enough local applicants.
Meanwhile, the Railway Budget’s “proposal” to have a Rs 67 crore survey for double tracking the Lumding-Dibrugarh route is being seen as a slap on the face of the people of the State.
The Dibrugarh Nagarik Sangha questions the rationale behind a survey, when there is a heavy demand and justification of electrified double BG tracks all throughout Assam. “You do a survey when you don’t want to do anything else,” said a secretary of the Nagarik Sangha. The Sangha advised Sarbananda Sonowal to impress his masters in New Delhi to do something meaningful for the State.
“Please don’t waste time in daily press briefings in Assam, where nothing significant is stated anyway,” was the Sangha’s refrain.
Local student youth organisations of ethnic communities said they would want accelerated Railway development of Assam, with fast trains to the major metros from Dibrugarh itself, apart from introduction of a local train system to make inter-district travel more convenient. These organisations also lambasted Assam’s MPs for being “ineffective” in the national capital and its power corridors.