Flood, plantation, influx among major poll issues in Assam
Guwahati, April 4
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he recurring flood and erosion problem, housing for the poor, welfare schemes for tea garden workers, Adivasis, backward classes and SHGs are the main issues dominating the coming Lok Sabha elections in Assam.
The Congress nominees during the electioneering are highlighting the economic reforms undertaken by the UPA, eradication of poverty schemes, MNREGA and social justice measures, particularly for the tea tribes and women, its state unit Chief spokesman Mehdi Alam Bora said.
The Self Help Group (SHG) scheme is a crucial issue during the poll here underscoring its role in giving employment to both the youth and women voters, Bora said.The BJP is harping on the change factor, by triggering development under the leadership of Narendra Modi, fight corruption, seal the Indo-Bangladesh border, grant refugee status to the victims of religious, social and political atrocities in Bangladesh, party state unit General Secretary Santanu Bharali said.
Turning to local issues, the saffron party has promised to also make efforts for fulfilling the demand for Article 244(A) in Karbi Anglong district, improve the condition and increase production of the world’s oldest running refinery at Digboi, save rhinos from poachers, oppose construction of mega dams in the upper reaches of river Brahmaputra, Bharali said.
For the regional party Asom Gana Parishad, illegal migration from Bangladesh is again its poll plank on which it was voted to power immediately after its formation in 1985.
The contestants of the party, which had come to power for second time in 1991, are also seeking votes on local issues such as opposition to big dams, implementation of the Assam Accord, curbing price rise, 100 per cent employment to locals in public and private sector offices in the state, said its publicity secretary Manoj Saikia.
The AGP is fighting for decentralisation of power, development of all tribes and castes, improvement of the education system, easing the population pressure on Guwahati by developing its adjoining areas as satellite towns, Saikia said.
During his poll campaign in the state, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh accused the BJP of indulging in divisive politics and of not having any specific policies for the development of the country.
UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi in her poll rally said Congress would continue to work for the welfare of the poor, Dalits, Adivasis, backward classes, women, farmers and the underprivileged sections of society.
In his campaign meeting, BJP President Rajnath Singh assured his party, if came to power, would institute an inquiry into how so many people from Bangladesh entered the country illegally and settled down.
Narendra Modi targetted Sonia Gandhi accusing the Congress of failing to fulfil its 2009 poll manifesto promise to bring down the price rise within 100 days.
In his whirlwind campaign, Rahul Gandhi flayed the opposition of stalling the passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill and asserted, “We will definitely pass the Bill”.
For first phase polling on April 7, five Lok Sabha constituencies of Tezpur, Koliabor, Jorhat, Dibrugarh and Lakhimpur will go for voting with Congress, BJP, AGP, AAP, CPI, AIUDF, SP and Independents in fray.
The prominent contestants in the electoral battle are Congress’ Union ministers Ranee Narah and Paban Singh Ghatowar, ex-Union minister and sitting MLA Bijoy Krishna Handique, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi’s son Gourav Gogoi and Bhupen Kumar Bora.
From BJP are its state unit President Sorbananda Sonowal, Kamakhya Prasad Tasa, while AGP’s Arun Kumar Sarma, Pradip Hazarika, Joseph Toppo, Congress rebel MP and Independent candidate Moni Kumar Subba are also in the fray.