Loksabha Election 2004 :: Manifesto
History of Congress : A Saga of Sacrifices
in Letters of Blood
of Congress for upholding Assam's existence at the time of 'Grouping'
of Congress in reorganisation of States :
of Congress in overall development of Assam:
massive support to Congress Party continues unabated:
Failures and Anti-people activities of AGP :
of Congress Election Manifesto :
1) Restored peace and normalcy to the State within a short span of time by curbing violence, anarchy and mayhem of the AGP regime.
2) Security of citizens' life and property has been ensured by completely wiping out the terror of secret killings.
3) Accelerated socio-economic development by delegation of powers to the grassroots level as per promises made in the manifesto. Powers of 29 departments have been transferred to Panchayatiraj institutions.
4) Curbing corruption at different levels of the administration, providing clean and transparent administration and bringing the administration to peoples' doorsteps through ''Right to Information Act", Citizens' Charter and "Raijor Podulit Raijor Sarkar".
5) With regularisation of payment of monthly salary, faith, confidence and work culture of employees have been regained. Hill Area Allowance stopped by the AGP has been released. 55 per cent Dearness Allowance compared to 41 per cent at the time of AGP Government, has been released. 50 per cent Dearness Allowance has been merged with basic pay as that of the Central Government employees. Medical Allowance of employees enhanced to Rs. 350 from Rs. 250 during the AGP regime. Pension of freedom fighters enhanced from Rs 1500 to Rs 2000 and monthly remuneration of Gaon Burhas enhanced to Rs 1000 from Rs. 600.
6) Several PSUs like Assam State Transport Corporation, Amtron, State Textbook Production Corporation and Assam Seeds Corporation which were on the brink during the AGP rule have been revived. Assam Petrochemicals Ltd., Assam Co-operative Jute Mill and Assam Gas Company earned profit due to good management and financial discipline. These industrial units are now paying dividends to the state exchequer.
7) In the employment sector the Congress has kept promises by regularising the services of Panchayat Secretaries, teachers leftout at the time of provincialisation, non-formal teachers, regularisation of 4000 teachers' posts out of 7000 posts discharged by the so-called Monoharan Committee report. At least Rs. 3 crores worth of free textbooks have been distributed among school students.
8) The vexed Bodo problem has been settled through formation of the BTAD as per Bodo Accord. Through the Accord equal development of all Bodos and non-Bodo people living in BTAD area and their security have been ensured.
9) The Mid Day Meal Scheme for school students and the Old Age Pension stalled by the AGP Government, have been relaunched.
10) For upliftment of the Rural Health Services dilapidated hospital buildings have been repaired, vacant post of doctors filled up, modern ICU opened at Guwahati Medical College Hospital and several health centres and dispensaries in the state are being converted into referral units with state-of-the art facilities for medical treatment. Measures for infrastructure development of all the three medical colleges of the State and release of Rs 25 crores to Assam Medical College, development have been made. Moreover, 16 nos. of 30-bedded hospitals have been equipped with surgical operation facility. Steps for renovation and repairing of 96 nos of 30-bedded rural hospitals and 417 PHCs besides other dilapidated health centres have been taken up. 11 nos. of blood banks have been opened in the State and 2 nos. of model blood banks at Guwahati and Dibrugarh Medical Colleges have been established. To facilitate easy availability of health and medical services in the rural areas and to make the services more effective the Government has taken up measures to introduce a three year medical course.
11) Due to implementation of various income generating self employment schemes for socio economic development in rural areas, the per capita income have now gone upto Rs. 12,000 from Rs. 10,055 during the AGP regime. Likewise the number of people below the poverty line have come down to 40.1 per cent from 56.8 percent. This improvement is mainly due to the Government measures for fiscal discipline and management.
12) As per promises made in the election manifesto, the process for granting land pattas to people of riverine 'Char' areas have already started. For development of people belonging to minority community the Congress Government. has constituted the 'Char Area Development Corporation, Commission for Minority and Linguistic Minorities. Moreover, a number of educational institutions have been established in the char areas to increase the literacyrate.
13) The Congress Government true to its promises made in the party manifesto has constructed roads, bridges, culverts, school buildings, dyke etc. almost in all villages through Panchayat and Rural Development Department during the last two and half years. During this period 22,890 Km rural roads, 4,608 bridges and culverts, 3809 school buildings, 2893 community buildings, 772 Km black topping of roads have been constructed. 1208 lakh mandays have been created by distributing 928717.75 MT rice as wage against work. Through PWD 1360 Km of roads have till now been newly constructed. 261 nos. of wooden bridges have been converted into RCC bridges, development of 770 Km roads of National Highways and construction and repairing of 24 nos. of roads of Guwahati city have been completed.
is a threat to Secularism and Security of the Nation:
'Feel Good'' is anti-poor :
Rule is ridden with corruption & scams :
Apathy of BJP Towards North-East:
1. The Eleventh Finance Commission committed a grave injustice to Assam. Several states received allocation ten times more. We were given only Rs. 710 crore by the Tenth Finance Commission. Eleventh the Finance Commission gave us only Rs. 110 crore. Mr. Arun Shourie the Union Minister for DONER himself admitted that the Finance Commission meted out injustice to Assam. We lost Rs 1000 crore. We have been not provided the due allocation. If the State is deprived in such a manner, how we could develop? We are lagging behind due to such injustice. Such disparity is widening during last few years and our debt burden is also increasing.
2. Though we have submitted to the Centre in detail about the perennial floods several times, the Union Water Resources Ministry have not issued any sanction till now to control flood and erosion. Even the Union Minister of State for Water Resources who hails from Assam has not taken any initiative to sanction the 54 schemes submitted by the State Government to the ministry.
3. The BJP Government has not declared Assam's flood problem as a ''National Problem'' even after repeated demands of the State Government.
4. The Prime Minister declared that the expenses on flood relief, rescue and anti-erosion measures would be reimbursed to Assam Government as grant but till today he has not kept his promise.
5. The State Government restored peace and normalcy to this terrorism infested State by curbing extremist activities and by solving the vexed Bodo issue. But the Central Government has not provided any 'peace bonus' to Assam like that provided to Jammu & Kashmir, Nagaland, Mizoram, etc. This deprivation shows the vindictive attitude of BJP towards Assam.
6. The matter of setting up a Gas Cracker unit in Upper Assam was incorporated in the Assam Accord signed at the initiative of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Accordingly, in 1995 the then Prime Minister of India Narasimha Rao of Congress laid the foundation of the project. Hiteswar Saikia of the Congress Party was then the Chief Minister of the State. But the BJP Government after coming to power in the last five years totally ignored the project. This BJP Party often talk about giving importance to industrial development in Assam and North East. They talk about schemes for wide employment generation. But they failed to take any measure for setting up the Gas Cracker. By those deceitful gestures the BJP has openly insulted the historical Assam Accord and the people of Assam. People of Assam shall give a fitting reply ot the insults through 'ballot' this time.
7. The BJP led Central Government has not released the State's dues from sales tax from petroleum products produced by IOC and other oil companies. This due is to the tune of Rs 400 crores.
8. The annual budget for the year 2003-04 for the North Eastern Council was fixed by the Council at Rs. 750 crore but the Central Government slashed the amount to Rs 395.29 crore. To add to this injustice Government allotted Rs. 500 crore as NE Council's fund although the Planning Commission of India and DONER fixed it at Rs 1000 crore. For the first time in the history of the NE Council such wide slashing of fund allocation has been resorted to. The Central Government has retarded the pace of the developmental activities by such acts.
9. The BJP led Government at the Centre promised to upgrade the GMC Hospital to the level of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi. But the interim budget proposal placed in the Parliament revealed that six medical colleges of other States have been upgraded to AIIMS but the GMC was left out. This is an instance of hoodwinking Assam and the North East.
10. As per the announcement of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 1999 to create one crore jobs for unemployed youth per year there should have been atleast be 5 crore new employment by this time. By this calculation Assam should have 12 lakh employment so far. Not to speak of 12 lakh employment, not even 1200 jobs have been created so far in Assam thus duping the unemployed youth of Assam.
11. Out of the 800 Km long stretch ''East-West Corridor Road Project in Assam" only 17 Km roads have been so far completed. This reveals the utter insincerity of BJP towards Assam's development. The 'East-West Corridor' has excluded wide areas of Upper Assam beyond Nagaon. By excluding the tea, oil, gas rich Upper Assam from the road project the BJP Government has perpetrated grave injustice to Assam. Central Government is still not acceding to the demand of the State Government for extending the 'East-West Corridor' from Nagaon upto Ledo-Jayrampur connecting the historical Stillwel Road. If our above demand is not met, the Congress Party will launch a movement if needed.
12. The hollowness of BJP's love towards Assam was evident during last six years by the fact that BJP Government did not set up any industry or project here.
13. The BJP Government did not honour its own promise to protect Majuli, the famous river island and centre of art-culture from erosion till today. 14. The incentives laid down in the Industrial Policy for setting up industrial units have been withdrawn by this Government and diverted to other States, making Assam and the North East unattractive for industrialists and investors.
Our Electoral Promises :
The Congress Party hereby promises that after the ensuing Lok Sabha elections its MPs will work for allround development of Assam as follows and shall put pressure on the Centre for implementation of the programmes.
For development of infrastructure and allround development of Assam :
1. It is very unformate that the Gas Cracker project included in the Assam Accord by Prime Minister Late Rajiv Gandhi for easing the problem of unemployment and ushering industrial development of the State has not yet materialised. The Congress MPs will pressurise Central Government by all means to start work of the project at Lepetkata in Upper Assam.
2. Pressure will be mounted on Central Government for construction of two bridges over Brahmaputra connecting Jorhat-Majuli-Lakhimpur and Gohpur-Bokakhat.
3. Demand will be placed for conversion of remaining railway tracks from meter gauge to broad gauge in Assam.
4. Demand will be raised in Parliament for extension of the East-West Corridor to Jagun so as to connect it with the historical Stillwell Road to facilitate trade and commerce of Assam with Myanmar and South-East Asian countries.
5. Although Assam Government has repeatedly demanded from the Centre setting up of a medical institute in Assam on the lines of All India Institute of Medical Sciences, the demand has not been met yet. Our MPs will try their best to convince the Central Government for establishing such an institute in Assam.
6. Appropriate measures will be taken to increase the number of express trains connecting Guwahati with other State Capitals.
7. Our party MPs will pressurise Central Government to open the National Waterways on the Brahmaputra as announced earlier.
8. Our MPs will try level best to convince the forthcoming Government at the Centre to give proper protection to the world's largest river island Majuli from erosion and to establish a tourism centre and a cultural museum there.
9. Central Government will be pressurised to open the trade routes for increasing trade relations between Assam and North-East with the neighbouring countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar etc.
10. We have been deprived of huge Central Government fund as we could not match the 25 per cent contribution against the Central Governments. 75 per cent share in many schemes at times. Hence pressure will be mounted on Government at the Centre to restructure the funding pattern to 90 per cent : 10 per cent ratio (10 per cent to be borne by Assam rest 90 per cent by Centre) keeping the view the backwardness of our state.
11. Congress MPs will demand from Central Government to sanction a separate National Highway from Abhayapuri via Barpeta, Hajo, Doulasal to Guwahati.
For Youth :
12. All necessary measures will be taken up for reservation of cent per cent jobs of Grade -IV and 80 per cent of Grade-III jobs for local candidates of Assam in the offices of all Central and semi-Central office and institutions.
13. Our MPs will co-ordinate with the Central Government to establish one "Vocational Centre" in each of the Block with the Central fund.
14. Our MPs will put pressure upon Central Government to generate newer avenues of employment through rapid industrialisation of agro-based activities. Moreover our MPs will endeavour to convince Centre for measures to solve Assam's unemployment problem through judicious use of our natural resources.
15. Our party and the MPs will try its level best to increase the number of seats for students of Assam in various professional institutions outside Assam.
16. For establishing one Navodoya Vidyalaya in each district and subdivision, our MPs will demand from the Government to be formed after elections.
17. All correspo- ndences will be made with the Central Government to increase recruitment of Assam's employed youth in the Armed forces and paramilitary forces so as to provide employment to the growing numbers of unemployed here.
18. Likewise in the oil sector industries like ONGC, Indian Oil Corporation, Gas Authority of India, our MPs will endeavour to enlist more and more numbers of local unemployed youth.
19. Special package for employment of youth :
a) Bold steps will be taken by the Congress Party and its MPs to take up 'special package' by Central Government for setting up small and medium industries in view of the serious unemployment problem.
b) In 1971 itself the Congress led Central Government adopted a policy to recruit local youth through employment exchanges of Assam and to reserve cent per cent job in the Grade III and IV posts for locals in the Railways and other Central Government offices and undertakings, companies etc. The present Chief Minister of Assam Shri Tarun Gogoi who was an MP at that time raised this demand in 1971 and at his initiative also the policy was adopted. Congress Party is of the view that the said Recruitment Policy should be reintroduced to provide local youth chances for employment. To this effect the party will pressurise the Centre. In this context, it may be mentioned that the conspiracy of the present Railway Minister Shri Nitish Kumar to deprive local Assamese youth and to recruit outsiders had been exposed totally the discrimination towards Assam by the BJP led Government. The Minister was condemned not only by the Congress but by the people of Assam. The Congress MPs will thwart such conspiracy to deprive Assam's youth in future also.
c) Our MPs will demand enlargement of scope for pre-recruitment training outside Assam for educated youth of Assam in respect of All India Services. Our State Government is demanding for steps by Central Government to arrange for such outside pre-exam training for local youth since long time.
d) All efforts will be made by Congress MPs to compel various banks and financial institutions to maintain the national ratio of debit and credit and to lower interest rates as a boost for setting up industrial and entrepreneurial activities by local educated unemployed youth and entrepreneurs.
e) Congress MPs will put pressure on Central Government to sanction Rs. one lakh as annual grant to each of the 70,000 SHGs formed during the term of the present State Government.
f) Demand will be made for arrangement of better training outside Assam for the members of the SHGs.
g) Congress MPs will put pressure on Central Government to enlarge the scope of coverage of Indira Awas Yojana and other schemes meant for the economically weaker sections of Scheduled Tribes and Castes so as to accommodate all other economically backward communities also.
h) Our MPs will be keeping constant touch with Central Government to enact a law for compulsory employment and self employment of physically challenged persons.
i) All efforts will be made to pressurize the Government at the Centre to take up ''Employment Guarantee Scheme'' for assured employment of our unemployed youth.
Problem of Floods :
20) Central Government will be pressurized by all means to recognize Assam's perennial flood and erosion problem as a ''National Problem''.
21) Our MPs will put all pressure on the Centre to bear all expenses on account of flood and erosion and the related rehabilitation.
Problem of Extremists :
22) It is very unfortunate that the BJP led Central Government did not make any effort to solve politically various extremist problems of Assam through discussion and negotiation after repeated demands of the State Government. Our MPs will place demands before the Central Government for opening negotiations for solving the problem.
23) Congress MPs will place demands with the Central Government to announce a special package for speedy development of Assam in view of its vexed problems of terrorism and flood and erosion.
24) Congress MP's will take measures through the Central Government to introduce a special employment package for rehabilitating the surrendered extremist youth and to bring back the youth from the path of extremism with prospects of employment. For the welfare of Tea labourers and Ex-tea Garden labourers:
25) Congress MPs will demand Centre to take immediate long and short term measures to solve the threat and uncertainty faced by the Assam's tea sector and its 20 lakh tea work force along with the small growers who are suffering owing to steep fall in prices of tea in the wake of Central Government's wrong import policy.
26) All efforts will be made by the Congress MPs to amend the Assam Labour Tea Plantation Act 1951 with a view to improving the working condition and the standard of living of the tea labourers.
27) Congress MPs will raise demand for a special package in giving appointment to offsprings of tea labourers in tea gardens and also in other departments and organisations along with measures for expansion of education facility for them.
28) BJP Government is not giving any importance to Assam's tea sector with which 20 lakh labourers are involved and though it constitutes Assam's main economic backbone. Due to Central Government's sheer apathy the Patoni tea estate owned by Tea Trading Corporation of Government of India is now closed. The State Government has taken up a series of measures aimed at reviving the sick gardens of Assam Tea Corporation. But without Centre's help the revival is impossible. So, Congress MPs will demand for grant of a special package for reopening of the Patoni tea garden and revival of ATC gardens.
IMDT Act and Infiltrators :
29) The Congress Party and its Government are always determined to deport foreign nationals after detection through judicial process and as per provisions of the Assam Accord of 1985. The Congress Party will make efforts for continuation of the IMDT Act enacted in 1983 to check undue harassment of genuine Indian citizens in the name of foreigners. The Congress Party is committed to protect genuine Indian citizens from undue harassment. The people of Assam have observed that before each election the BJP and the AGP try to reap political benefit and raise demand for repeal of IMDT Act thereby sowing seeds of fear and anxiety among different communities of the State. The Congress Party and its Government will always oppose the evil designs of BJP and AGP for repeal of the Act.
Effective measures to stop infiltration:
30)The BJP led Central Government is not taking adequate and effective measures for checking illegal infiltration from across the international borders. Though the State Congress Government submitted memoranda to the Central Government specifying concrete measures to check infiltration the BJP Government has not taken any effective measures as such-
A) distance between two BSF posts in the international border should be reduced to 4-5 Km so that they can see each other. Our MPs will forcefully raise the issue again.
B) In Punjab sector along the international border permanent wall/fencing has been constructed and damaged portions are being repaired. However, in the case of Assam this was not done. Our MPs will place demands for such permanent wall/fencing and repair works.
C) Our MPs will demand for introduction of Multipurpose National Identity Card through- out Assam.
New Forest Policy of Assam Government:
31)The present Congress Government of Assam has adopted a New Forest Policy for the first time since Independence. The new policy has changed the conventional old concepts in forest preservation by introducing a new concept of mutual healthy dependability and co-existence between the people and the forests of Assam. This has given a timely and most effective impetus for nature conservation. From now on people have been involved in matters of preservation development and management of forest area by forming Joint Forest Management Committees for each forest. Moreover, scopes are provided in the New Forest Policy to legally fulfil people's demand from the forest thereby checking the illegal wanton destruction of forests till now resorted to by people to meet their various forest based demands. By directly involving people it is aimed at not only improving forest wealth but also bringing about economically gainful livelihood scope for the backward and poor people of the forest villages and those residing in fringe areas of forests. To ensure financial benefit and employment for the poor indigenous people of Assam is the main objective of the New forest Policy. From now on the requirements of people from forest products can be met and also forest wealth can be preserved and developed through a sustainable scientific forest management policy. The Congress Party has proposed to regularise the settlers who are residing in forest areas since prior to 25th October, 1980. Steps will be taken to enlist full cooperation of such persons in conservation and improvement of forest areas.
New measures for empowerment of Women :
32) Our Congress Government has taken some special measures for allround development of Assam's womanfolk. Sincere efforts to ensure social status, social and economic security for our women have been made so that the fair sex can march along with men as equal partners. People of Assam are well aware about the revolutionary steps in empowerment of women taken by late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to reserve 33 per cent seats in Panchayat and Municipal Bodies with a view to ensure their social political rights and status and how successfully these are being implemented by the present State Government in Assam. Of the 70,000 Self Help Groups (SHGs), a sizeable section of SHGs comprise women members. Through formation of SHGs, women are imparted training and engaged in various income generating and productive activities. They are provided revolving fund, bank support, subsidy etc. Handloom & Textiles, Poultry, Piggery, Agriculture, etc. are some sectors where women are also getting involved and becoming self-reliant economically. Our MPs will put pressure on the incoming Congress Government at the Centre to take more such effective steps for empowerment of women.
Measures for development of primary and higher education and Special Central Grant Package for solving teachers problems:
33)The Congress Government is proud of the allround advancement in the State's education sector. Hence all possible measures are being taken sincerely by the Assam Government for more development of the primary, secondary and higher education of the State. The Government is aware of the various problems of the educational institutes and the teachers and steps are being taken to solve them phasewise. Our MPs will fight and put pressure on Central Government to grant a Special Central Package for solution of various problems and grievances of the colleges, institutes, universities including medical college, engineering college, veterinary college and such professional or vocational colleges for their fullest development and their teachers problems. The MPs will also pressurise Centre to formulate a policy for 90:10 ratio in the matter of fund allotment for Sarba Siksha Abhijan Scheme.
Measures for development of Barak Valley :
34)It is lamentable that the BJP Government at the Centre did not undertake any noteworthy schemes in the last six years for development of Barak Valley. Congress MPs will raise forceful demand for extension of broad gauge rail link to Barak Valley and for permanent rail communication network. By putting pressure on the Central Government works in all the three Barak Valley districts as enlisted below will be initiated-
1) For permanent solution of the electricity problem by making Barak Dam a reality and ensuring jobs for local unemployed youth.
2) To improve road communication in the valley to turn Silchar as a gateway to Mizoram, Tripura and Manipur.
3) The fourth Barak bridge at Fuler Tol and the fifth one at Sonabari Ghat will be completed in due time.
4) Doctors, nurses will be posted adequately and medicines will be made available in each of the Primary Health Centre of the valley along with the hospitals of Brahmaputra Valley.
5) Black topping and modernisation of all the main roads of the Barak Valley and daily flight services between Guwahati and Silchar will be demanded.
For development of Hill and Border areas :
35) Our State is situated at various inter-state and international borders. The areas close to Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal, Manipur, Tripura States and those close to Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar international borders are still very inaccessible. So, in several places of Karbi Anglong and North Cachar Hills districts no adequate communication facility is available. Our MPs will persist upon the Centre to grant a special package for development of inter-state and international border roads, besides infrastructure development in both the Hill Districts.
For other ethnic groups/sections of people:
36) Though our Government had recommended for grant of ST status to the Koch-Rajbongshis, Moran, Motok, Ahom, Chutia and Tea tribes and Adivasis, the Central Government has not granted the status to the communities till today. Our MPs will take recourse to all measures to convince the Centre for granting such status on the basis of the State Government's recommendations.
The Congress Government at the Centre in 1991-96 had promulgated an ordinance granting ST status to the Koch Rajbonghis but later on the BJP led Government at the Centre nullified the ordinance. By this step, the BJP led alliance Government humiliated the whole Koch Rajbongshi community. The Congress Party will promulgate the ordinance immediately upon wresting power at Centre this time.
Our MPs will endeavour to seek release of a special package from Centre to set up the "Sukapha Samannoy Kendra" (Sukapha Integration Centre) at Charaidew to preserve the cultural heritage of all tribes and communities on the lines of the Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra of Guwahati.
The Bodo Accord signed by the BJP led Central Government announced the release of Rs. 100 crore annually for development of B.T.A.D. areas, but till today the fund has not been released. Likewise, the promise of raising a special battalion to rehabilitate surrendered Bodo militant youth has not been fulfilled by the BJP led Government. The Congress Government which is certain to return to power at the Centre after this elections will be pressurised by our MPs to release immediately the promised development grant to B.T.A.D for establishment of the proposed special battalion consisting of surrendered Bodo Youth.
Assam marches ahead on the path of Progress...
At the time of last Assembly elections in Assam a question was raised as to why the people should vote for the Congress Party. To this, we replied that the Congress is the only political party which is well experienced of governing the State and the nation. The Congress is the only party with which heritage and tradition is etched inseparably.
The Indian National Congress is not an offshoot of any sudden development or a pampered political entity riding on the crest of emotions and sentiments only. This party has a long checqered history of 120 years. We, the Indian people earned freedom by fighting under this party's flag against the Britishers. In the post Independence period also people reposed this party with the task of building a modern India time and again. A pride of the Indian nation, Assam and its people reposed their faith and confidence on the Congress Party throughout the period. Though there were occasional setbacks by waves of short lasting elusive politics of emotions and sentiments, nothing has been able to halt the triumphant march of the Congress Party. One classic example was the popular mandate of 2001 Assembly elections whereby people of Assam once again handed over the reins of power to the Congress Party. That the Congress Party is capable of governing a state is well demonstrated by Shri Tarun Gogoi led State Government in the last three years.
The Congress Government has been able to achieve in the last three years what the previous regional party Government could not do in spite of being friendly to the then Government at the Centre. Peaceful atmosphere has returned to the State at present against the all-pervasive lowlessness, corruption, violence, terrorism and unrest prevalent in previous State Government tenure. Control and grip on the whole administration is achieved. The blocked flow of developmental activities found means of effortless release.
People have been able to discern a positive and optimistic atmosphere of peace and development everywhere. The successes achieved in last 21/2 years demonstrate well the capabilities, judiciousness and work ethics of the Congress party.
It is against this backdrop, not necessary to explain why the Congress Party should be voted to power this time also. Not words but works done for the State by the present Government will definitely prove the credibility, fitness and acceptibility of Congress well. In this connection, a few instances of the positive changes made possible by the Congress Government are placed for attention of the people of Assam.
Regulated Financial Discipline:
By ending previous Government's widespread corruption and financial indiscipline the present Government has brought about strict discipline at all stages of financial/fiscal administration. The present Assam Government has earned credit among all States of the country for this fiscal disciplining measures. Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of India praised Assam Government for these reforms.
Devolution of power to grassroots level by democratic way :
The previous Government delayed holding of the Panchayat elections for several years. But our Government immediately after coming to power in the State held the Panchayat elections and decentralised power to grassroots level. Likewise, our Government held the overdue elections to municipal bodies including Guwahati Municipal Corporation and Town Committes throughout the State and constituted these bodies through democratic means.
Creation of BTC : Solution to Bodo Problem :
The peaceful solution to the Bodo problem which rendered the State's socio-political environment unstable for the last two decades was made possible only by the farsightedness and proactive qualities of the present State Government. By forming the BTC, people of the Bodoland area are given autonomy under Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.
Creating environment of peace :
The State's law and order situation now is vastly improved from what is was during the previous regime. The suffocating atmosphere of violence and terror has improved for the best. The spate of widespread "secret killing" reported during previous State Government regime has ceased now. Secret Killings have become a thing of the past. Both Cobra militant and DHD extremist organizations have laid down arms. The BLT has taken active part in peace process after bidding farewell to arms. Sizeable numbers of ULFA and NDFB militants also have returned to mainstream after abjuring the path of violence.
Wiping out syndicate network:
By wiping out various evil syndicate circles patronised by the erstwhile State Government the harassment to traders and businessmen of coal and other commodities have been totally stopped.
Unprecedented successes in Rural Development :
The developmental works throughout the State and across all the villages have been speeded up. By forming approximately 70,000 Self Help Groups (SHGs) under various development schemes 8 lakh gainful employment have been generated. The State Government has been able to release maximum amount of fund for the rural development sector from the Centre than the previous State Government and have utilised properly all the funds for rapid rural development of Assam.
Transforming the mindset of New Generation :
The Congress Party and its government at the State had been able to instill new courage and self esteem in the minds of the people. People are now able to breathe freely after suffering in an suffocating atmosphere of fear, violence, terror, uncertainty for a long time. They are now able to step forward with new hope and confidence. Our Government is endeavouring specially to inculcate the new generation with positive thinking and a broad mindset by rescuing them from destructive and negative tendencies. Result of our all-out efforts is clearly emerging now. Stress on sport and youth welfare have been laid by the Government and along with it, to develop the creative, latent talents among the youth and to motivate then towards right direction, effective measures are being taken. Some two thousand educated youth have been sent outside the State for technical training so that they can earn lucrative employment later on. Moreover, steps have been taken to send two thousand students every year for educational excursion outside Assam to broaden their vision.
Bold placing of demands with the Centre by the Chief Minister :
One could not find a single previous instance of placing the State's demands with the Central Government boldly as is done by the present Assam Chief Minister Shri Tarun Gogoi for realising the genuine dues for Assam from the Centre. Even the AGP Government which shouted slogans of regionalism was not able to raise the genuine demands of Assam with the Centre with such conviction and unstinted sincerity as is being shown by Shri Tarun Gogoi. Hence the erstwhile AGP Government failed miserably in matters of genuine dues for the State from the Centre, even though a friendly Government was then in power at the Center. But compared to that regional party and its Government the present Government has been able to get more funds for rural development and other sectors from the Centre. In this context, the silent economic emancipation revolution through 70,000 SHG's may be pointed out. The silently brewing SHG revolution is catching the attention of the whole country. Assam Government has earned encomiums for special success on the front. Batches of officers from other States are coming one after another to Assam to learn about the methodology of the SHG revolution. Is it not the sweet sound of footsteps of a prospective silent revolution towards change for the better?
The epoch-making writings of Sahityarathi Lakshminath Bezbaruah envisioning a progressive Assam may again be chanted in unison now with the pledge of leading Assam to the zenith of progress. Let us chant :
(Let the Doba (a drum) be played, let the conch be played/let mridong khol (long shaped drum) be played/Assam is again on Path of Progress/hail Mother Assam, let us say)