Gogoi defends PM as Opposition mounts attack

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Guwahati, Sep 11 (UNI) Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today came out strongly in defence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, whose resignation as Assam MP was sought by the Asom Gana Parishad(AGP) for his alleged failure in protecting the interest of his adopted home state in terms of flood relief.

The Chief Minister in a statement alleged the AGP instead of helping the flood victims was involved in dirty politics.

''At a time when the people of the country are eulogising the Prime Minister for his bold and dynamic leadership even at the cost of giving up power to put India in the exalted position among the powerful nations, it is ridiculous on the part of AGP to ask the Prime Minister to vacate his Rajya Sabha seat of the state. What moral right they have got?''.

He said the people know that Assam has much benefited during the tenure of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh compared to what the state got when AB Vajpayee was at the helm of affairs.

''The Government of India has sanctioned Rs.433.70 crore for flood protection works during 2008-09. We have also got Rs.195.58 crore from NEC, ACA and others.'' He said '' I am soon going to bring out a White Paper on what the AGP and BJP did for Assam when they were in power and what the Congress Governments at the State and Centre did for the State. Let the people judge for themselves.'' He said'' both the AGP and BJP betrayed the people of Assam and today they have joined hands to make narrow political gains. They are the ones who divorce and remarry at will when the situation so demands. Both the parties are interested in their own welfare, and not in people's welfare. They do not have any definite policy and ideology. They are opportunists in their own right.'' He said he would request the Speaker, Assam Legislative Assembly, to constitute an all-party delegation for visiting the flood affected areas and to see for themselves the relief measures initiated by the Government.

Besides he would request the ministers and MLAs, including BPF to donate one month's salary towards the flood-affected people of the state. ''I have also requested all MPs to provide Rs.10 lakh each from MPLAD fund'' he said.

The Chief Minister will meet the Prime Minister and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on September 13 when they would be approached of latest flood relief development.

UNI MT PC RL AS2005

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