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Congress aims big in Assam civic polls

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Guwahati: Ruling Congress today promised of doubling the allocation to Rs 1,000 crore in the next five years to 74 municipal boards and town committees across Assam if it wins the forthcoming elections of these.

Aiming to capture nearly more than 50 of the 74 municipal boards and town committees on February 9 poll, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi also promised to give 2 per cent subsidy on loans taken by rickshaw and hand cart pullers, vegetable vendors or other small traders while taking loans from banks.

“Our party’s promise is that if Congress comes to power, we will give RS 1,000 crore to the bodies over next five years,” he said at a press conference here.

This promised amount will be in addition to whatever revenues the respective bodies will generate, he added.

“Currently over 50 bodies are under our control and our performance will be better than last time. In the last five years, we had given Rs 500 crore,” Gogoi said.

The senior Congress leader said once the party comes to power, it will bring a “special package” for development of smaller cities.

“BJP and (Narendra) Modi talks about only making big cities as smart cities and in their list, even Guwahati is not there. How will overall development take place if we talk about only big cities? Congress will focus on small and mid- level cities,” he said.

Talking about slum dwellers, Gogoi said the municipal boards and town committees in select cities will give housing or provide financial assistance of Rs 25,000 each household of the poors and the homeless people.

Besides, hostels for outstation students will also be constructed in some major educational places like Guwahati, Jorhat and Dibrugarh, he added.

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