The foundation-stones laying ceremony of the Na-ali Railway over-bridge and the exclusive market for women opposite Doss and Co by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal here today was more of a cleverly crafted electioneering campaign by the BJP dispensation in the State and district with an eye on the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The two pronged strategy adopted by Sonowal and his powerful minister of Health, Finance and PWD Himanta Biswa Sarma, who had accompanied him, extolled on the one hand the glory, culture and heritage of Jorhat and Jorhatians and on the other the multifarious schemes of the Centre and state.
The ceremony drew in more than 5000 people mostly from the gardens and outlying areas at the Jorhat railway station premises here.
Sonowal began his speech by extolling the historic city of Jorhat which had completed 221 years and played a stellar role in developing Assam.
In this regard he paid homage to the great men of Jorhat Pandit Krishna Kanta Handique, educationist Jeheruddin Ahmed, litterateur Mitradev Mahanta, and leader Debeswar Sarmah, minister Dulal Baruah and Sportsman Nripendra Narayan Singha while stressing that people of Jorhat should come out and play and equally important role in developing the state.
“I know that the expectations of the people from us is good governance and a corruption free, extremism free, pollution free and illegal migrants free Assam and for this we need your cooperation and participation, ” he said.
Praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his schemes, Sonowal said that the PM had projected the northeast as the engine which should lead the rest of the country and they were moving in the right direction.
He said that from a long standing demand of the people of Jorhat for direct flight to Delhi had been fulfilled with Jet and Indigo providing direct flights from today and another one from Guwahati-Jorhat and DelhiThe chief minister gave a cheque of Rs 1.50 lakh to Runjun Pegu of Jengraimukh, Majuli for winning the gold in javelin throw at the All India Athletics Championships held in Lucknow, recently.
Sarma said that the three-lane Na-ali Railway over-bridge would be built at a cost of more than Rs 1 crore, the cost having escalated since the last estimate had been prepared during the time of the Congress government.
The cost of Rs 67 lakh would be borne from what was earlier known as the NLCPR and Rs 45 lakh by the State. Out of the Rs 45 lakh, 25 lakh would go for land acquisition.
Goswami further promised Railway overbridges at Jail Road and Cinnamara as the government was committed to a seamless communication.
Goswami said that the waterways were being developed and that Nimatighat might be a port soon. Neither Sonowal nor Sarma mentioned the price rise which has rocked the nation in the past few days.
Later at Tocklai Tea Research Institute Sonowal announced a Rs 12 crore project which would be state funded for oldest tea research Institute in the world which is floundering for survival.