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Assam happy for Manmohan

May 19, 2004 16:57 IST

Not many are aware that the permanent address of Congress leader Manmohan Singh, who is likely to be India's next prime minister, is in Assam.

The address is House No 3989, Nandan Nagar, Ward Number 51, Sarumataria, Dispur, Guwahati - 781006, Assam.

The building, in an uptown residential area approachable through the lanes of Sarumataria, belongs to former chief minister late Hiteswar Saikia, whose wife and state Sericulture Minister Hemoprova Saikia now resides in it.

The house wears no busy look; it is not engulfed by security personnel, save the few on duty for the minister.

There is security only when Singh arrives.

Singh's neighbours are naturally thrilled that he is poised to be the PM, but they are keen that he takes an initiative to improve the roads in the locality.

On Hiteswar Saikia's persuasion in 1991, Singh had agreed to contest from Assam to the Rajya Sabha and thus began his political career.

He became the Union finance minister in the P V Narasimha Rao ministry and ushered in liberalisation.

Born in Gah, West Punjab, now in Pakistan, the former Reserve Bank of India governor was re-elected from Assam to the Upper House in 1995 and again in 2001. Currently he is the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha.

Since 1991, Singh has been utilising his MP Local Area Development Fund for making improvements in education, health, civic sectors across the state.

The Oxford D Lit economist and former civil servant has made contributions from his LADF for rebuilding the lower primary schools established before 1965.

A blood bank was set up at the M M Civil Hospital in Guwahati and facilities improved in others government hospitals, across the state.

The Sri Sri Sankar Deb Udan, the park on the riverfront of the Brahmaputra, was also created for the benefit of Guwahati residents, sources in the district administration implementing the projects said.

The ruins of the Madan Kamdeb Temple, an archaeological site dating back to the Gupta period and comparable to the Khajuraho temple, was restored with the LADF.

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