Updated: March 22, 2021 8:30:53 pm
Union Home Minister Amit Shah Monday claimed the Congress had created divisions between Assamese and Bengalis, plain and hill dwellers, Upper and Lower Assam, while the BJP had “united Assam through development.”
“Congress follows the policy of divide and rule, while with the BJP’s policy of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Vishwas’ has brought development for the smaller tribes and communities,” said Shah, speaking at a rally in Jonai in Assam’s Dhemaji district on Monday.
He later addressed rallies in Udalguri and Majuli, which is CM Sarbananda Sonowal’s constituency. While Jonai and Majuli will vote on March 27, Udalguri — which falls under the Bodo Territorial Region — will vote on April 1.
“Modiji did a lot for the development of Assam. Himanta Biswa Sarma and Sarbananda Sonowal made Assam andolan (agitaition)- free and aatankwaad (insurgency)-free. They united all tribes and communities, protected their culture, their literature,” he said, “On the other hand, Congress partnered with Ajmal. Can a government which has Ajmal expel infiltrators?” Shah asked.
At Jonai — which is a Mising stronghold — Shah said that the BJP was committed to the development of the tribe. “We respect the sentiments of the Mising tribe and the Assamese,” he said, “With us in power, the Mising tribe does not need to worry — we are going to institute a board especially for the tribe’s development.”
Like in previous rallies, Shah reiterated that the BJP government would make the state flood-free within the next five years. “The Prime Minister has initiated satellite mapping and creation of water bodies to store flood waters,” he said.
In Majuli island, Shah spoke of development the BJP had brought to the district, citing, among other things, the Rs 700-crore Jorhat-Majuli bridge inaugurated recently by Modi. “Earlier, Majuli was only accessible by ferry but because of us, you got the first helipad. So now you can reach Majuli by air, and in a couple of years, by road too,” he said.
Invoking the Vaishnavite saint reformer Sankardeva, Shah said that BJP had managed to make Sattra lands — especially in Bordowa, the birthplace of Srimanta Sankardeva, — free of encroachment. “When my helicopter landed there, I was surprised to see that there was not a single encroacher — all this has been possible because of the Sonowal government,” he said.
At Udalguri, Shah said that when the Congress was in power, Assam was marked by agitation, violence, and bomb blasts. “But under Modiji, politics of terror, fear, murder, guns and violence ended and politics of development for the poor started,” he said.
Shah said he was happy that the complex Bodo problem had been solved after the Bodo Peace Accord was signed last year. He added that all the clauses in the new Bodo Accord would be delivered in the next two-and-a-half years. “We want peace and development in Bodoland. Soon, Bodo youth will be holding computers instead of guns, machines instead of hand grenades,” he said.
Listing ‘aatankwad’ (insurgency), ‘andolan’ (agitation) and ‘ghuspetia’ (infiltrators), as the three main problems plaguing Assam, Shah said the first two had been solved, and BJP was solving the third one.
“But the combination of Congress party, Hagrama and Ajmal will do nothing to solve it. When there is Ajmal, can infiltration stop? If there is anyone who can stop infiltration, it is the BJP,” he said.
At another rally in Dibrugarh’s Tingkhong, BJP national president JP Nadda, too, slammed the Congress for joining hands with Ajmal. “This is an election about Assam’s identity and culture. How can you protect Assamese culture if you partner with Ajmal?” he asked.
He said the Congress party was comparable to an elephant with two sets of teeth — “one to eat with, and the other to show off”.
Nadda will launch the party’s official manifesto on Tuesday in Guwahati. Assam goes to poll in three phases — March 27, April 1 and April 6.
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