GUWAHATI The ‘big jackals’ have apparently stoked resentment among a section of the Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs in Assam.
Some BJP legislators and senior leaders have reportedly been unhappy with the way the road construction projects are awarded. While most of them chose to keep mum, MLA Mrinal Saikia took to twitter to express his angst with a touch of sarcasm.
“Day of the Jackal… good bye the small little Contractors who were trying to make their Luck in the #PWD Roads Department and a Big #Welcome to the #big #jackal (contractor). Be ready for Big Packages of Works in every department. #struggle,” wrote the BJP lawmaker who represents eastern Assam’s Khumtai Assembly constituency.
His tweet followed the Assam government’s decision to invite tender for big construction packages instead of offering the same road project to several contractors in small parcels.
Pradip Hazarika of the Asom Gana Parishad, the BJP’s ally, voiced his support for Mr Saikia. “Small contractors also deserve work and they can be held accountable if they fail to deliver quality. All big packages to mega contractors do not necessarily guarantee quality,” he told journalists.
Reacting to the views of the MLAs, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa said: “Neither do I see jackals nor do I see tigers. I see only the road and what needs to be done. I believe the people should get roads. How can they get a road if I keep thinking about contractors?”
State Congress president Bhupen Kumar Borah said the bundling of several small road contractors into a big package was all about earning a “big commission”. He also sniffed a division with the BJP between some who support Mr. Sarma and others who are behind his predecessor, Sarbananda Sonowal.