With the state assembly election drawing closer, Assam CM Tarun Gogoi on Friday asked PM Narendra Modi to provide central assistance of Rs 1000 crore for taking up development activities for the minority community of the state. Two days ago he had asked for Rs 1000 crore each for development activities for the ST, SC and OBC communities of the state.
Gogoi, in a letter to the PM said that though the central and state governments have taken up a number of initiatives for all-round development of the minority communities of Assam, there were still some gaps which need to be bridged urgently for fostering the overall and all-inclusive development.
“Both Centre and the state government have taken up a number of initiatives for all-round development of the minority communities of Assam. Various schemes have been also taken up by the state government for the benefit of the minority communities in the sectors like health, education, skill development, employment generation, electricity, water supply and sanitation etc. These have to a great extent assuaged the problems faced by the people of these communities and have helped them achieve remarkable progress. There are still some gaps, which need to be bridged urgently,” Gogoi said in his letter to the PM.
Assam has as many as 29 communities in its ST list and 16 in the SC list, while the number of OBC communities is exactly 100. Six communities that are currently in the OBC list – Ahom, Chutiya, Moran, Matak, Koch-Rajbangshi and Tea labourers – have been pressing for inclusing in the ST list.
He also pointed out that a substantial population of Assam’s minority population resided in the char (riverine) areas of the Brahmaputra. “These areas are characterized by high population density, extreme poverty, illiteracy and lack of infrastructure, insecurity of livelihood and are often ravaged by flood and erosion,” Gogoi said, asking for special central assistance to reduce their geographical isolation by improving connectivity.
It was only on Wednesday that Gogoi had sent a letter to Modi asking for a central assistance of Rs 1000 crore each for the scheduled tribe, scheduled caste and other backward communities (OBC) of the state. Pointing out that the ST, SC and OBC communities were still lagging behind in education, Gogoi asked for central assistance for setting up separate girls and boys hostel for students of these communities in every district which could be taken up in the current year’s budget.