Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the Election Commission of India (ECI) was expected to announce the dates for the Assam Assembly elections in the first week of March.
Mr. Modi made this announcement while addressing a gathering at Silapathar in northeastern Assam’s Dhemaji district after launching five projects worth more than ₹3,000-crore.
Assam is going to the polls by May along with Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
The projects in the oil and gas sector that the Prime Minister inaugurated virtually are in Bongaigaon, Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts. He also unveiled an engineering college in Dhemaji and laid the foundation stone of another at Sualkuchi, a town near Guwahati synonymous with the production of indigenous silk.
“The election commission had declared the last  Assembly election dates on March 4. Likewise, we expect the dates this time to be announced in the first week of March,” he said.
Insisting that the BJP-led NDA government’s focus had been on empowering the Northeast as the new engine of India’s continued growth, he said: “Our government that believes in taking everyone along has ensured rapid development in Assam.”
“The Centre and Assam government are working in collaboration to develop the infrastructure of the State. Despite great potential, the former government gave Assam a step-motherly treatment,” he stated.
Mr Modi claimed that the NDA government had brought changes in providing LPG and electricity. “With the help of Ujjwala Yojana, LPG coverage in Assam stands at nearly 100% today,” he said.
He also underlined his government’s attention to surface and inland water transport, referring to projects such as the Bogibeel Bridge, development of road infrastructure and a strategic inland water terminal at Jogighopa in western Assam.
The Prime Minister said he would like to visit Assam again before the elections are held.
This was Mr. Modi’s third visit to the poll-bound Assam within 30 days. The day of his visit saw members of the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) staging protests and wearing black badges to protest his ‘silence’ on the implementation of Clause 6 of the 1985 the Assam Accord.
“We are unhappy that the Prime Minister has chosen to continue to avoid speaking on Clause 6 that seeks to guarantee constitutional rights to the indigenous people,” AASU president Dipanka Kumar Nath said.