Paswan blames Centre and state govts for slow growth in NE

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Agartala, Jan 19 (UNI) Union Steel, Chemical and Fertilisers Minister Ram Vilas Paswan today criticised both the Central and state governments for the ''tardy pace'' of development in Northeastern states.

Addressing mediapersons here, Mr Paswan said Kumargaht-Agartala railway project was sanctioned in 1997 when he was the Railway Minister. But even after 11 years of sanctioning the project, rail could not reach Tripura capital to date.

He charged the UPA government with being ''insincere'' to the actual development of the region as a result of which the growth of uplift in the Northeast was comparatively slower than other parts of the country.

Later, addressing a party rally here, the LJP chief pointed out that unemployment and economic disparity were the main causes of insurgency in the Northeast.

Meanwhile, AICC General Secretary Prithviraj Chavan denied Mr Paswan's allegation that the Centre was not keen on development of Tripura. He said the state government had instead failed to utilise the Central fund.

On the other, CPI(M) spokesperson Gautam Das criticised the Congress and its alliance partner tribal-based INPT for demanding withdrawal of Tripura State Rifles camps from various parts of the state, which he believed would be dangerous to the state.

Mr Das said a total of 58,000 families had come to the Left Front fold till date from the Opposition parties, and the CPI (M) had adopted a new strategy to convince voters ahead of the election.

He said a Central rally would be held for the Left Front candidate on February 3. West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Polit Bureau members Prakash Karat, Brinda Karat and Sitaram Yechury would address the gathering, Mr Das added.

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