The Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached in Assam for a day-long visit to flood situation in the state on Tuesday, which has witnessed more than 76 deaths. Arrived at the Lokopriyo Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, PM Modi was received by the governor Banwarilal Purohit and chief minister Sarbananda Sonowa headed directly to Khanapara in an Indian Air Force Chopper. He has also planned to hold converse with Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal where PM Modi will take up issues related to flood management and protection alongside damage control.
PM Modi, on the other hand, also expected to meet the Chief Ministers of Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, and Manipur. On Monday, PM also declared an exgratia of Rs 2 lakh each for the families of those killed and Rs 50,000 each for the wounded in Assam floods. As per the official data, the floods have influenced more than 25 lakh people in the state’s 29 districts. The PM Modi, however, also visited the nearby Assam Administrative Staff College, where he held a number of review meetings. According to the official sources, the PM Modi in his very first meeting with the chief minister, his cabinet colleagues, and senior state government officials, reviewed the flood condition and infrastructural damage.
It is expected that PM Modi would also have a meeting of ruling BJP and its alliance partners – the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and the Bodo Peoples’ Front. On Monday, the State Finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had said that the Prime Minister Modi’s visit was predominantly focused on finding an everlasting solution to the flood problem in the state. On the other hand, the former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi criticized PM Modi and said that he was forced to visit the flood-affected state after receiving criticism. “The PM preferred to visit Gujarat before Assam, but it is good that he is coming due to public pressure,” Gogoi said.
The president of the Assam unit of BJP, Ranjit K Das, contradicted the criticism and said that “The prime minister visited Assam thrice in the last 14 months, and he announced today’s visit while leaving for Gujarat. The Congress should know (former PM) Manmohan Singh did not visit Assam during the floods despite being elected to the Rajya Sabha from the state”. The Lok Sabha member and chief of All India United Democratic Front, Badruddin Ajmal, wished that PM Modi would announce the floods in Assam as a “natural calamity” and provide a financial assistance of at least 20,000 crores. “Scores of lives have been lost in the floods that left several thousand hectares of agricultural land covered with sand. We want the victims to be suitably compensated,” Ajmal said.