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Slammed by BJP, Tarun Gogoi cuts short Japan trip

Stung by BJP criticism, Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi has cut short his trip and is returning to Assam to handle the situation.  BJP on Wednesday criticised Gogoi for being on a foreign tour at a time when the state is reeling under floods and demanded dismissal of state Environment and Forest Minister over killing of animals at Kaziranga National Park by poachers.

Continuing with their tirade, BJP national vice-president and Lok Sabha MP Bijoya Chakravarty told reporters,  ‘Governance has ceased to exist in Assam. The Chief Minister is having a luxury tour abroad even as people in the state have to wade through chest-deep water.’ Gogoi is currently on a six-day trip to Japan as part of the delegation of the Empowered Group of State Finance Ministers.

Chakravarty also accused Assam government of failing to utilise over Rs 2,000 of central assistance for flood control and irrigation provided during the 12th Plan.

Referring to the situation at Kaziranga National Park, she said it was among the worst affected in the floods as most of the area in it is inundated. ‘Three rhinos have been killed by poachers at Kaziranga since yesterday. Kaziranga is the state’s major heritage and its loss would be catastrophic to Assam.’

She accused state Environment and Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain of turning a blind eye to the state of affairs in the park and said that the minister had allowed large scale encroachment by illegal immigrants in it.

‘Hussain is the main culprit ... Why is he still silent after so many animals have been killed and lakhs of hectares of the park’s land has been encroached ... We demand the sacking of the Forest minister,’ Chakravarty stressed. BJP has sent a memorandum to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding action against Hussain, Chakravarty said.

‘In 2010 the then Union Minister for Forest and Environment Jairam Ramesh said on the floor of Parliament that 4,85,674 hectares Kaziranga Park had been encroached by illegal migrants from Bangaldesh. Still no action has been taken,’ she said.
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