Assam CM announces freebies ahead of assembly polls

Guwahati, Sep 26 (IANS) About six months ahead of the assembly polls, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Saturday announced a series of freebies for the people of the state, particularly for the economically and socially weaker sections.

The chief minister told newsmen that his government was going to roll out a total of 25 schemes under the Chief Ministers’ Special Schemes for the people of the state from December worth over Rs.850 crore, which will benefit 76.41 lakh people.

Gogoi’s announcement, however, came at a time when opposition parties, including the BJP, have been accusing the Congress-led Assam government of diverting funds meant for developmental projects for paying the salary of the employees.

Gogoi, however, said the government would continue the existing schemes and some new schemes would also be launched depending on their needs.

“The schemes will include everything from distribution of threads to fulfil the housing need of the homeless people and many others,” Gogoi said.

The chief minister further refuted the allegation of opposition parties that the government was diverting developmental funds, saying the state has received Rs.4,354.31 crore from the Centre in the 2015-16 fiscal and had already released Rs.3,985 crore to different departments for execution of works.

“So where from I divert Central funds?” the chief Minister asked.

Gogoi also said the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre only has lip sympathy for Assam and other parts of the northeast.

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