With Assam going to the polls on Saturday, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in a video message on Friday, said Assam is being “divided on the basis of religion, culture and language” and urged voters to cast their ballot for a government that “upholds the Constitution of India and respects the principles of democracy”.
47 constituencies of Assam go to vote on Saturday in the first phase of a three-part election.
Singh, who represented Assam in the Rajya Sabha for 28 years (1991-2019), said: “You must vote for a government that will care for every citizen, for every community. You must vote for a government that will ensure inclusive growth and put Assam on the path of peace and development once again.”
You must vote for a Government that will once again put Assam to the path of inclusive growth and development.
— Sushmita Dev (@sushmitadevinc) March 26, 2021
Singh recalled the tumultuous times Assam faced because of “a long period of insurgency and unrest”, and the how from 2001 to 2016, under the leadership of former CM, late Tarun Gogoi, the state “made a new beginning towards peace and development”.
“However, it is now facing very serious setbacks,” he said, adding, “Society, is being divided on the basis of religion, culture and language. The basic rights of the common man are being denied and there is an atmosphere of tension and fear. The ill-conceived demonetization and badly implemented GST have weakened the economy.”
Stressing on the miseries created because of unemployment, loss of livelihoods rising prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas under the BJP regime, he said, “The poor are becoming and poorer, and Covid-19 is making matters much worse.”
The Assam Congress is committed to protect the unique language, culture and history of Assam and ensure the well-being of all communities, he said. He added that if voted to power, the Assam Congress, will do its best to repeal the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
Describing the five guarantees of the Congress manifesto as “practical” assurances, Singh said they will lead the state towards “prosperity”.
The guarantees include a law that nullifies the CAA, five lakh government jobs, raising tea workers’ wages to Rs 365 a day, free electricity up to 200 units per household, and Rs 2,000 monthly income support to homemakers.
The five-minute-long clip was shared by senior leaders of the Assam Congress, including Sushmita Dev, Gaurav Gogoi and Pradyut Bordoloi.