For private company employee Rupjyoti Das, Tinsukia witnessed “refurbished” development over the past five years, while daily wager Krishna Dey had to make a living selling his rickshaw during COVID-19 induced lockdown, but businessman Anand Parikh got everything under the initiative of BJP MLA Sanjoy Kishan, who is also a minister in the Sarbananda Sonowal council of ministers.
“It was mere painting on rotten wood as far as Tinsukia’s development is concerned during the past five years. Look at the condition of the narrow roads and streets which were promised to be improved only to remain unattended. The government is introducing many schemes, but the deserving beneficiaries are not getting the benefits. Some sycophants of the MLA distribute the benefits among only a handful of their coteries.
“Similarly, in the education sector, the plight of the government schools is too poor. As far as private institutions of Tinsukia are concerned, there has been no control of the authorities on them. The fee structure is at the whims and fancies of the owners. The health sector is somewhat satisfactory. But, its is the private sector which is doing the business,” said Das.
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He was corroborated by Guria Basfor, a cleaner, who said it was the hardest time of their lives during the lockdown period. “We only heard that the government was helping the poor. We never got any help. We’ve never seen such hardship in life. In fact, we have never got any benefit from the government,” she said, but maintained that the MLA Sanjoy Kishan was “good”.
Dey, who had to sell his rickshaw to earn a living at the time of lockdown, is today a daily wage earner. “I’ve never got any benefit from the government all my life. We heard that the government had helped the needy people during lockdown which never reached us. I had to sell my rickshaw. Whatever came for our benefit have been siphoned off by the politicians. Now also we hear that the government has been introducing schemes one after another every single day. But, being a poor man I never stand a chance to be beneficiary,” the 54-year-old lamented.
Padma Pegu, an e-rickshaw puller, too felt that the MLA could have helped people like him to access government benefits to overcome the debts he incurred during the lockdown. “We have only heard that the government was going to assist poor people like us to get rid of the lockdown debts. But, the benefits never reached us,” Pegu said.
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Parikh, however, claims to be in a Utopia created by MLA Kishan and wished the BJP gives him ticket once again to help further development of Tinsukia. “The roads have been developed, people are getting all facilities. He has done a lot of work. He has indeed changed the look of Tinsukia. All people are getting their due share of benefits. Every single family received a whole lot of ration during lockdown. What else can you expect from the government or and MLA?” the trader said.
InsideNE also finally managed to catch hold of an Assam Orunodoi scheme beneficiary in Bobin Madrasi, a cleaner. She claims to have received the stipend of Rs 830 in her bank account but she too suffered the same fate with her fellow people during lockdown.