The Congress in Assam has urged Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to perform ‘Rajdharma’ and give equal assurance of development to all opposition MLAs.

The reactions of Congress came after Chief Minister Sarma met Raijor Dal chief and Sivasagar MLA Akhil Gogoi on Sunday evening.

“After taking oath as Chief Minister, Sarma had not only passed derogatory remarks on opposition MLAs but also created the illusion that development of constituencies under opposition MLAs would not be equal to those of the ruling party, thereby forcing many opposition MLAs to defect to the BJP promising more development and also imposed an unnecessary bye-election on the people of Assam last month,” APCC media cell Chairperson Bobbeeta Sharma said.

The Congress said it was apparent from the election speeches by the Chief Minister and the MLA candidates who joined the ruling party after defecting from the opposition camp, that the development of constituencies was possible only if the MLA belonged to the ruling party.

“It was even mentioned during the joining of an opposition MLA in the ruling party that he was not given time to discuss the development of his constituency as he belonged to the opposition. But we saw yesterday that opposition Raijor Dol MLA from Sivasagar Constituency Akhil Gogoi had an hour-long discussion with the CM to talk about the development of his constituency.

“We appreciate that the Chief Minister of Assam has given time to Raijor Dol MLA Gogoi and has given assurance that development projects of Sivasagar Constituency will be carried forward as promised by Gogoi during the election,” Sharma said.

“The Honourable CM is entrusted with the responsibility of development in 126 constituencies of the state. Hence it is expected that he should give the same assurance of development in the other opposition MLA constituencies as has been given to Akhil Gogoi of Raijor Dol,” said the Congress spokesperson.

“But we have seen how earlier the CM had time and again publicly stated that opposition MLAs should only deliver speeches in the Assembly during its sessions, while for all purposes the guardian ministers would be responsible for the work in their constituencies, forcing 3 MLAs to switch parties on the ground of development and organised by-elections by spending public money,” she said.

“The economy of Assam is mired in debt. According to the survey in SDG India Index, Assam is ranked last in terms of development. Will Assam’s position improve during the remaining 4 years? Along with increase in the Maternal Mortality Rate, the rank of Assam throughout the country in case of Infant Mortality Rate slipped to third. 40 out of every one thousand infants die.

“There are no ICUs in hospitals in 16 districts of the state. Given the condition of the state, the ruling and opposition party MLAs should work together for development but this has not yet been noticed in the demeanor of the Chief Minister,” Sharma said.

The Congress alleged that Chief Minister Sharma has not given time for discussion with Congress party MLAs, no time for the development of Congress party MLAs’ constituencies, no announcement of schemes but has only encouraged their defection to BJP.

“This is politics of the lowest order, going contrary to the people’s self-interest. This goes against the development of the people in the state. On behalf of the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC), we condemn such actions.

“We urge the Chief Minister to work for the development of the 126 constituencies as the Chief Minister of Assam, to give time and sit for discussion not only with selected opposition MLA’s but all opposition MLA’s including Congress MLA’s for development of every constituency,” said the APCC spokesperson.

“Otherwise, the Chief Minister’s dream to place Assam among the five most developed states in the country will never turn into reality and an unstable atmosphere will be unleashed in the state’s politics,” Sharma said.

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