Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should complete his term and Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi should be projected as the next leader of the party, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today said.
''There is a lot of speculation going on in the media about whether the Prime Minister will complete his term or not. It is my personal opinion that he should complete his term,'' Gogoi said in an interaction with mediapersons at his residence here.
''Rahul Gandhi can be projected as the next leader of the party after that,'' he added.
The chief minister said the state government would introduce the Lokpal in the state by February and it would be in the same lines as in the Centre.
''Earlier it was only recommendatory with government approval being required for an inquiry but now it can be initiated for any officer upto the level of the Chief Secretary,'' he said.
Gogoi, however, pointed out that to end corruption, the system has to change ''otherwise no Lokpal or any other law can work''.
The state government was planning to give insurance cover to all citizens with the Centre and state government making equal shares in the scheme, he said.
The government was also trying to introduce the local time which is an hour ahead of the Indian Standard Time (IST) and is prevalent in the tea gardens of the state.
''The introduction of the local time would lead to energy saving and more work can be done,'' he said.
''We have to ensure employment opportunities for them as they are the backbone of our economy and without their development, the state cannot progress'', he said.
''When industrialist Ratan Tata and others had come, I had pointed out to them that they should invest in agro-based industries as only then people in the rural areas will have purchasing power and they in turn can go ahead and buy other finished industrial products'', the Chief Minister said.
The state government would also open 'Rural Haats' (markets) for farmers alone can sell as middlemen take away a chunk of the high prices that consumers pay with the farmer failing to reap any benefit, Gogoi said.
The state government has also emphasised on proper utilisation of local natural resources, skill development and initiate educational schemes related to employment, he said.
The state government would soon set up a womens' university on the lines of the community colleges of USA which would be different in the sense that it would impart education in all fields to ensure employment in all sectors.
''Education must be employment-oriented because if education is not harnessed properly, it is a liability and for this purpose we will set up councils comprising youths, scientists, agriculturists and experts from different fields to draw up schemes'', the Chief Minister said.
In the field of conservation, the state government would set up more ecological battalions to protect wildlife and forests.
The state government would also soon set up Scheduled Caste and Backward Caste Commissions.