Gogoi woos Barak Valley voters with Rail link to Kolkata

Silchar सिलचर (SCL): Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Saturday wooed voters in the Barak Valley by promising to link Karimganj with Kolkata by laying railway tracks via Bangladesh.

Addressing an election rally in Karimganj in southern Assam, Gogoi said Silchar is a major business hub and an important town of the state near Bangladesh. The railway project would facilitate expansion of trade between the two countries and also reduce the distance between the Barak Valley and Kolkata.

The Chief Minister said he will take up the issue with the Centre so that it can take it up with Dhaka.

A railway track from Mahishashan, India’s last railway station in Karimganj, stretches up to Sylhet in Bangladesh. However, the track has remained abandoned for the last four decades for diplomatic reasons, a source said.

Addressing the rally organized in support of Congress nominee Lalit Mohan Shuklabaidya for Karimganj Lok Sabha seat, Gogoi said he had promised a package of Rs 1,000 crore before the last assembly election, if most of the seats in the Barak Valley were won by Congress and had kept his promise after coming to power in 2011. “Now, I promise another package for the Barak Valley if Congress wins both Karimganj and Silchar Lok Sabha seats,” said the chief minister.

Addressing a 3000-strong crowd on the Public School ground in the border town, Gogoi said there was no ‘Modi wave’ in Assam. It was only ‘Gogoi wave’ across the state, he claimed.

“I will continue to remain the Chief Minister of Assam and Rahul Gandhi will be the Prime Minister after the general elections,” said Gogoi. He said AIUDF is the ‘B-Team’ of BJP in Assam. “Narendra Modi never spoke a word against AIUDF during his visits to the state. Both Modi and Badaruddin Ajmal have made it a habit to criticize me and Congress. Don’t vote for both the parties. They are two sides of the same coin,” said the Chief Minister.

However, Minister for Cooperation and Border Area Development Siddeq Ahmed didn’t attend the rally. A source said he was unhappy that Public Health Engineering Minister Gautom Roy was accompanying the Chief Minister at the meeting.