Modi says Assam’s rhino killers have political patronage

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Bokakhat (Assam), March 26 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday promised to stop the unabated killing of one-horned rhinos in Assam, and slammed the state’s Congress government saying it was providing “political patronage” to poachers.

“I have heard that in Assam, the Congress ate up development funds. But I was not aware that even the rhinos are not safe at the hands of the Congress. Eyes were kept closed and rhinos were allowed to be killed and political patronage was given to those who killed rhinos,” Modi said at a public rally in Bokakhat, about 50 km from the famous Kaziranga National Park in Golaghat district

“Now time has come to hunt the hunters of rhinos and one does not need guns and bombs to hunt these rhino hunters. One just needs to press a button in the forthcoming assembly polls to kill the rhino hunters,” he said, appealing to the people to vote for the BJP and its alliance partners.

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“Just vote for the BJP candidates and those put up by the partners of the BJP-led alliance and I guarantee that not a single rhino will be allowed to be killed in Assam,” he said.

Polling for the 126-seat Assam assembly will be held in two phases — April 4 and 11.

Criticising the Congress-led governments in Assam of the last 60 years, the prime minister said that while Assam was counted among the five richest and developed states after independence, it is now considered among the five poorest and underdeveloped states.

Highlighting the development agenda of the central government, Modi said his government has decided to invest Rs.12,000 crore to improve roads in Assam and another Rs.10,000 crore for boosting rail connectivity in the region.

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Modi also slammed the Assam government for failing to give an account of Rs.1,80,000 crore to the comptroller and auditor general (CAG) of India.

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