The BJP would indulge in creating conflict between people of different faiths in the run-up to the Assam assembly elections in order capture power by hook or crook, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi said in a series of four different meetings he addressed on the first day of his two-day pre-election tour of Assam on Monday.
“The BJP does not have issues of development and peace in mind. Instead it is more interested in capturing power by even putting people of different faiths in conflict. They did the same in Bihar and instigated Hindus against Muslims. They thought they would win elections by doing so. They will try to do the same thing in Assam too,” Rahul Gandhi said.
“In Bihar the prime minister made many tall promises. They tried so many tricks. But when the results came they could not even understand how the BJP lost,” he said.
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Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress leader also tried to draw the attention of women and the tea labourer voters of upper Assam. In Titabor – chief minister Tarun Gogoi’s constituency – he alleged that the BJP government at the Centre had stopped ration to the plantation labourers. In Bihpuria, he said it was only in Congress-ruled states that women were given top priority.
“The prime minister made so many tall promises in Assam during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Has he fulfilled any one of them? The answer is a big No. Instead, he has stopped supply of rations to the tea labourers. He has curtailed Assam’s Special Category State status. He also tried to stop MGNREGA and mid-day meal schemes. Prices of essential commodities have gone up manifold,” Rahul Gandhi said.
Asking people to vote for the Congress, Rahul Gandhi claimed that a pro-Congress wind had already started in Assam. “A Congress wind is blowing in Assam. The people have understood how hollow Modi’s promises were. They will now try to destroy peace and amity before the elections here. But they will meet the same fate as in Bihar,” he said.
The Congress vice-president, who arrived here on a two-day visit to upper Assam on Monday, attended three rallies – at Gohpur, Bihpuria and Titabor – on the first day. On Tuesday he is scheduled to take part in a padyatra in Sivasagar before addressing a party workers rally there. Titabor incidentally is the assembly constituency represented by chief minister Tarun Gogoi.
Ridiculing Prime Minister Modi for making promises that he had failed to keep, and said the prime minister was only astute in coining a new slogan every 10 days. “The prime minister coins one new slogan every 10 days. But there is nothing on the ground. Moreover, you don’t see him alongside the poor, the farmers, the labourers and the working class. Instead you see him beside rich people, beside Obama, beside industrialists,” he said.
Showering praise on Tarun Gogoi, the Congress vice-president said his government in Assam had done wonderful things that have changed lives of the poor, of women, of tea labourers and children. “Fifteen years ago, people were scared of coming out of their houses because of insurgency. Today there is peace all around. It is the Congress that put Assam back on the rails,” he said.
“The Congress government in Assam has so many schemes for women. Women in Assam get money right from their birth. A girl child gets a sum at birth, a bicycle in Class VIII and a laptop when she gets 50 per cent in Class X final. They also get money for marriage, and then there is a scheme for unmarried women and widows too,” he said at a women’s rally in Bihpuria.
Drawing attention of the youth, Gandhi recalled Prime Minister Modi’s 2014 election promise of bringing back black money from abroad and depositing Rs 15 lakh in every citizen’s bank account, and asked if anybody had received that amount. “Is there any person in Assam who got that Rs 15 lakh Modi had promised? Is there any youth in Assam who got a job as Modi had promised?” he asked.