Modi offers ST status to Assam communities

Wednesday 20th January 2016 05:03 EST

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Kokrajhar in Assam on Tuesday, in his two-day Northeastern state visit; three days after the Bharatiya Janta Party forged a formal poll pact with the Bodoland People's Front (BPF). Addressing a public rally organised by the BPF, Modi said the state has received a raw deal even after the country had its Prime Minister from the state for 10 years. Mocking the previous central government, he said precious little was done for Assam for 15 years. “Now they have been demanding all these from me within 15 months. Is it justified?” he asked.

He said, “Assam should not have any problem in the state. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who represents Assam, was in the office for 10 years. This is apart from the nearly 15 year old Congress government.” He made several announcements including the government's decision to grant Scheduled Tribe status to Bodo people residing in the state's two hill districts and, the Karbi tribals living in the plains. He granted deemed university status to the Central Institute of Technology on Kokrajhar and the re-opening of the Rupshi airport, along with fund provisions for various development projects. The PM was, however, silent on the much hyped £100 million development package for the Bodoland districts, one that was reportedly assured to the BPF. In a bid to garner support from all corners of the state, he also held a crucial meeting with representatives of six other communities of the state which have been demanding Scheduled Tribe status for several years now. The BJP had promised to grant ST status to the communities which together have a combined presence in at least 70 constituencies.

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