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Congress ally in Assam angry over PM’s statement
Published on 20 Aug. 2009 12:16 AM IST
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The Bodoland People’s Front (BPF), an alliance partner of the ruling Congress-led government in Assam, is angry with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his “incorrect” statement that the utilisation of the Rs.750 crore central package for the Bodoland area was unsatisfactory. First of all, the prime minister is factually incorrect when he said that the Rs.750 crore was allotted for development works in Bodoland area. In fact, the package was for Rs.500 crore and we are yet to get the entire amount, Hagrama Mohilary, leader of the BPF and the chief of the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC), told IANS Wednesday. The prime minister Monday told a meeting of the chief ministers in New Delhi that “utilisation of Rs.750 crore meant for development of the Bodoland area was unsatisfactory”. It seems some vested interests, could be bureaucrats, misguided and wrongly briefed the prime minister’s office on fund allocation for the Bodoland. We are shocked and surprised to hear a factually incorrect figure from the prime minister, Biswajit Daimary, BPF MP in Rajya Sabha, said. The BPF leaders said they would welcome a probe to look into the development works under the central package. Let the prime minister visit Bodoland and see the development works personally. We would welcome any investigation, Daimary said. Angry at the prime minister’s statement, BPF leaders led by Mohilary late Tuesday met union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai in New Delhi to lodge a formal protest. We expressed our displeasure at the factual error in the prime minister’s written speech and asked him to communicate our point of view, the BPF leader said. We would appreciate a clarification from the Prime Minister’s Office on this issue. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has also admitted that the central package was for Rs.500 crore and that another Rs.250 crore was to be sanctioned upon completion of the first package. The BPF with 10 legislators in the 126 member Assam assembly is a key partner of the Congress party that has 54 legislators. There are five associate members and five independents supporting the government.

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