Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday said that the ensuing state assembly election, likely to be held in April, would be a showdown between him and prime minister Narendra Modi, and that the Congress party would “crush” the BJP as did the Assamese to the Mughals in the 17th century.
“The ensuing Assembly elections will be a showdown between me and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the NDA Government’s failure on all fronts and its anti-people and anti-poor policies will be his main poll planks,” Gogoi, in a statement said. Gogoi, under whom the Congress had won a record three consecutive terms, is aiming at a fourth consecutive term.
He said he and his party were ready for the ensuing assembly elections which the BJP had termed as the Battle of Saraighat. But, while the BJP has said that it woule defeat the Congress as Assamese defeated the Moghuls in that historic battle of 1671, it would be the other way to round, Gogoi said. “The saffron party will be vanquished in the assembly elections in the manner in which the Mughals were crushed in the Battle of Saraighat,” he said.
Gogoi’s assertion came in response to a statement made by state BJP president Sarbananda Sonowal, who had not only likened Gogoi to Ram Singh, the Mughal general in the Battle of Saraighat, but also said that AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal and senior minister Rakibul Hussain would be his (Gogoi’s) lieutenants in this battle. “The people of Assam will defeat Gogoi as they had defeated the Moghul army in 1671,” Sonowal, projected BJP’s chief ministerial candidate, had earlier said.
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Gogoi also said that the BJP-led government at the Centre had made a U-turn on all issues concerning the people and had utterly failed in fulfilling the poll promises it had made to the people in 2014. “The frequent visits of central ministers to Assam have been primarily aimed at covering the failure of the central government and it has indulged in show business and fake assurances,” he said.
“Visits of central ministers are aimed at hoodwinking the people and divert their attention from the failure of the central government,” the veteran Congress chief minister said. The Congress party had recently put up many hoardings in Guwahati asking what Assam got from over 200 visits by central ministers to the state since Modi became prime minister.
Gogoi also alleged that RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had recently paid two visits to Assam “primarily to polarize” the otherwise peaceful ambience of Assam. “The RSS is trying tacitly to sow seeds of discord in the Assamese society which was moulded and shaped by the philosophy of Srimanta Sankardeva and Ajan Fakir. We are committed to build a Modern Assam based on the edifice laid by these saints,” he alleged.