Sounding the poll bugle for the upcoming Assam assembly elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday hit out at the Congress, which has been in power in the state for 15 years.
At rallies in Kokrajhar and Guwahati, Modi, referring to former PM Manmohan Singh, said, “Why is the Congress accusing the BJP-led government at the Centre for Assam’s problems? Hasn’t the Congress been in power here for 15 long years? With a prime minister from the state for 10 long years, I thought Assam would have no problems left.”
He also ridiculed the Congress for becoming “nervous and restless” over his Assam visit. “I was not thinking of elections when I originally set my programmes in Guwahati and Kokrajhar. Only when I saw that there was a storm in the Congress and they began feeling tense after hearing about my visit, that I realised that assembly elections are round the corner,” Modi said.
“If Assam has so many problems, then who is responsible? The Congress has been in power for 15 years, an Assam MP was PM for 10 years, and now they are asking me questions,” said the PM, taking a swipe at hoardings attacking him, put up by the Congress in the state.
“They should first give details of how they spent funds in the last 15 years. Only after that should they ask about my 15 months. I have seen the number of problems listed by the Congress. But isn’t that proof of the Congress government’s failure?” he said.
The reality, Modi said, was that there had been misappropriation of funds during the Congress tenure in the state. “Where have the funds gone? Misuse must stop. The people’s money has been looted for long. Now that the Ministry for Development of Northeastern Region has started asking for utilisation certificate of funds for every scheme, they have not been able to continue the loot,” he said.
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“The Congress doesn’t give details of funds spent, and complains when the Centre asks for it. That is why they don’t like me. The Assam government must give details of the funds spent. In fact, all Northeastern states must give details. After all, it is people’s money,” Modi said.
Modi also quoted Rajiv Gandhi, saying that for every rupee spent by the government, only 15 paise reaches the people. “How does a rupee become 15 paise? Funds come, but are not seen being spent on the ground,” he said.
“Blaming me is injustice. They are trying to mislead you,” he said.