Assam witnessed best days in my second term: Gogoi

GUWAHATI: Chief minister Tarun Gogoi has described his second term as the best days the state has seen in terms of development since Independence. He also dubbed the two terms of AGP under the leadership of Prafulla Kumar Mahanta as the "darkest chapter" in Assam's history.

"The last five years of our government is the best period in the history of Assam as far as development is concerned. And this has been possible be-cause of unstinted help and support from all sections of people," he said here on Thursday. The chief minister added that various scams plagued the state during Mahanta's two terms in office.

Gogoi said the present government would leave behind a whopping amount for the next government to carry out development in contrast to the empty government coffer he had inherited from the previous AGP government when he took over in 2001. He claimed that Congress will once again form the next government in May after the assembly elections.

He described his first term form 2001 to 2006 as "difficult". "That period was challenging. There was financial deficit and law and order was bad. No one wanted to buy land here. Nobody wanted to invest here. By 2003, the situation slightly improved and today the financial position is strong and there is great improvement in law and order," he said.

The chief minister added that when he started his first term, he had received the 11th Finance Commission Award of Rs13,280 crore finalized by the previous AGP government. "The next government will get a staggering Rs 57,832.70 crore from the 13th Finance Commission," Gogoi said.

He said chaos and mayhem reigned supreme when Congress took over the reins prior to May 2001. "There was total lawlessness with the militants calling the shots. There was huge flight of capital. The economy of the state was in the red. The government exchequer was almost empty and there was a deficit of Rs 500 crore. We had to bear a loan amount of a whopping Rs 2000 crore. The situation prior to 2001 is no longer there because our government has initiated a slew of schemes and projects on all fronts, which have had brought about a remarkable economic turn-around and hastened the process of development which had come to a grinding halt prior to May 2001," Gogoi added.

He said there was despair and despondency all around during AGP regime and a sense of insecurity had gripped the people. "But today, there has been a sea change in development. The state is witnessing an upsurge on the economic front with investors flocking to Assam," he added.