GUWAHATI: Three-time former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi asked if he was a terrorist after being prevented from travelling on the yet-to-be-opened Dhola-Sadiya road bridge on Monday by the Special Protection Group (SPG) citing security reasons.
“They didn’t allow me to go to the bridge citing security concerns. Am I a terrorist? Will I break the law?” a livid Gogoi asked. He also said, “We planted the tree, nurtured it but the BJP is now trying to eat the fruits.”
The 9.15-km bridge in Tinsukia district, which is India’s longest and Asia’s second longest, is set to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 26. The SPG has thrown around a massive security ring around it in view of the PM’s visit.
Reacting to Gogoi’s outbursts, the BJP said he had not matured with age.
“How can he travel on a bridge when it is being secured in view of the Prime Minister’s visit? The Prime Minister is an SPG protectee. Even the incumbent Chief Minister (Sarbananda Sonowal) cannot go to the bridge now. Movement is prevented by the SPG Act,” BJP spokesman and senior advocate of Gauhati High Court, Bijan Mahajan, told the New Indian Express.
He said such remarks should not have come from the mouth of a former Chief Minister.
“We mature with age but he has not. He is creating a drama for personal benefits. He wants publicity out of nothing,” the BJP spokesman said.
The construction of the bridge had begun in 2011 when Congress was in power in Assam as well as at the Centre. The bridge located less than 100km from the India-China border is strategically important. It is capable of withstanding a 60-tonne battle tank.
The bridge is seen as an attempt by India to shore up its defence requirements along the Sino-Indian border particularly in the Northeast besides providing easy access to the people of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam with air and rail connectivity.