GUWAHATI/KOLKATA: PM Narendra Modi on Monday hinted at the possibility of the Election Commission announcing poll dates for four states — Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala — and the Union Territory of Puducherry in the first week of March.
“In 2016, assembly poll dates were announced on March 4. This year, it is my assumption that the EC will announce the dates by March 7,” he said on his third visit in a month to poll-bound Assam.
PM Modi later travelled to Bengal’s Hooghly, where he spoke of “ashol parivartan (real change)”. Sources said the poll schedule for the state might be announced after Modi holds a rally at Kolkata’s Brigade Parade Ground early next month. The rally will be the culmination of six “parivartan yatras” by BJP across the poll-bound state.
In Assam’s Silapathar, the PM dedicated three energy infrastructure projects in the state worth over Rs 3,000 crore to the people. He also inaugurated the state’s seventh engineering college at Dhemaji and laid the foundation for the construction of the eighth such college at Sualkuchi near Guwahati.
Addressing the gathering at Dhemaji, Modi accused the earlier governments of treating the region “in a stepmotherly way”. “Those who ruled the country for decades had considered Dispur far from Delhi. This thinking caused a lot of loss to Assam. Now, Delhi is not far from you. Delhi is standing at your door,” he said.
He said Union ministers were making regular visits to know the difficulties faced by the people of the state and see the work being done on the ground. “I, too, have come to Assam many times so that I can be among you and become a participant in your development journey. Assam has everything that every citizen needs to live a better life. Now, the need is opportunity for development. The double engine that is running has to be strengthened. I assure the people of Assam that with your cooperation, and your blessings, there will be development at a faster pace.”
The PM indicated that he hoped to make many more visits. “My efforts will be, assuming the election dates are announced by March 7, to come to Assam and go to West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry as much as possible till then.”
Last week, Modi had remotely launched multiple road, water and digital connectivity projects worth Rs 9,500 crore in Assam.