PM’s 20-day birthday bash ‘uncalled for’ as boat tragedy memories still fresh in people’s minds: Assam Congress

Guwahati, Sep 18 (PTI) The Assam Congress on Saturday criticised the BJP’s 20-day celebration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 71st birthday as “unnecessary and uncalled for” as memories of the boat tragedy in the Brahmaputra that claimed three lives is still fresh in the minds of the people.

APCC working president Rana Goswami, in a statement, said his party would instead highlight the prime minister’s 20 failures since coming to power.

“Plans for the lavish 20-day celebration of the prime minister’s birthday is unnecessary and uncalled for when the hearts are heavy and the grief of the family members of those who embraced untimely death in the Brahmaputra is still raw.

“We are appalled by the insensitive ways of a government which is not concerned about people’s pain and suffering, hopes and aspirations. We want a reprieve from all such kinds of humiliation,” he said.

Three people died when a private boat with 92 people on board capsized and sank in the Brahmaputra on September 8, following a head-on collision with a government-owned ferry steamer near Nimati Ghat in Jorhat district.

Goswami said that the news of the 20-day birthday celebration brings to mind the prime minister’s “failed promises” made to the people of India including Assam since 2013-14.

He alleged that Modi is the only prime minister in India’s history during whose tenure an amount of Rs 1,76,00,000 crore was withdrawn from the Reserve Bank of India in 2019, and again Rs 99,122 crore in 2021 without stating who did it and why.

“The prime minister must answer all the questions raised by the people and the opposition regarding the withdrawal of money from the RBI,” Goswami said.

He alleged that the Narendra Modi government was responsible for the decline in the nation’s economic growth, hike in fuel prices, selling off public enterprises, handing over profit-making airports and non-competitive sectors to private players, and loss of livelihood during the pandemic.

Goswami said that even though Modi had opposed foreign investment during Manmohan Singh’s tenure as the prime minister, he has now “opened up the country for 100 per cent FDI”.

Modi had promised to chase out Bangladeshis from Assam after May 16, 2014 but is now bent on providing shelter to foreigners in the state under the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), he said.

“Why shouldn’t we call the PM a failure when he failed to start work on the Majuli-Jorhat bridge after promising in his 2016 poll speech to construct it within five years and laying two foundation stones later? He wants to make Guwahati a smart city but even the problem of water supply hasn’t been resolved.

“The promise to dredge the Brahmaputra and construct expressways on both banks hasn’t seen the light of the day, the promise to make Assam’s recurring floods a national problem hasn’t been realised. No steps have been taken to implement all the clauses of the Assam Accord or give ST status to six indigenous communities of the state,” he added.