Tarun Gogoi regrets PM Modi didn't visit flood-hit Assam

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Tuesday regretted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not visit the state during the flood devastations.

Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Tuesday regretted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not visit the state during the flood devastations.

"The Prime Minister not only visited Jammu and Kashmir but announced a special package for that flood-hit state immediately. In the case of Goalpara in Assam which faced unprecedented catastrophe like that of J-K, the PM did not find time to visit nor did he announce any special package," Gogoi said.

"Much before the latest deluge, the state had experienced two waves of floods resulting in huge losses of lives and property. Why is this discrimination being meted out to the people of Assam?" Gogoi questioned.

"During the election campaigns in Assam, the Prime Minister had made promises after promises," he said.

The chief minister said the Prime Minister did not mention about saving river Brahmaputra during his public address at the Madison Square Garden in New York, while he repeatedly talked about Ganga.

"The Prime Minister not only ignored the Brahmaputra in his address at Madison Square Garden, he also did not take up the issue of construction of dams on the Brahmaputra by China during his talks with the Chinese President despite the serious concerns expressed by the people of Assam." Gogoi asserted.

The chief minister also came down heavily on Union Minister of State (Independent) Sarbananda Sonowal and State BJP spokesman Bijon Mahajan for allegedly "misleading the people regarding non-utilisation of Central fund for disaster relief under SDRF (State Disaster Response Fund)".

Gogoi further accused the BJP leaders of trying to "divert people's attention from the fact that there has been no Central package or assistance announced for Assam so far despite the unprecedented calamity".

"The statement made by BJP leader Bijon Mahajan on the Central allocation for SDRF does not tally with the government facts and figures. Being a lawyer by profession, he should verify the facts and figures before making it public," Gogoi said.

The Chief Minister asserted, while Assam had utilised the Central allocation for disaster relief last fiscal, the Centre is yet to release its share this year. On its part, the state has already released the share for 2014-15," Gogoi said.

Meanwhile, the state government has conveyed to Sonowal through a letter that of the total Rs 183.38 crore Central funds available for SDRF, an amount of Rs 162.65 crore has been already sanctioned for restoration of damages and flood relief operations.

The state also brought it to the notice of the Union Minister that no fund has been received from the Centre for SDRF for 2014-15 till date, the statement added.

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