March 19, 2021 2:06:25 am
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday attacked the Congress over its tie-ups with Left parties and the AIUDF for the Assam polls, saying it lacked leadership, policy and ideology. Addressing a rally in Assam’s Barak Valley, he said the BJP governments at the Centre and state, in contrast, have worked continuously for development.
“On the one side, there are policies of the BJP, leadership of the BJP, and good intentions of the BJP. On the other hand, Congress has no leadership, no policy and no ideology. The Congress is so weak today that they can go to any extent, they can join hands with anyone,” said the Prime Minister the rally in Karimganj district, his first in the state after the announcement of poll dates.
He said: “In West Bengal, they show red salutes to the Leftists. but in Kerala, wrestle with them. Congress is confused. Can a party whose thinking is unstable deliver a stable government in Assam?”.
The Prime Minister also attacked the Congress for its alliance with the AIUDF, a party led by MP Badruddin Ajmal which enjoys strong support amongst the state’s Bengali-origin Muslim community. Without naming the party directly, he mentioned its ‘taala-chavi’ (lock and key) election symbol.
“In Assam, the Congress is contesting this time relying on whom? The politics of those people against whom the local Congress workers have been struggling for decades, the Congress is today going around with that taala-chavi. To deceive anyone for votes is the habit of the Congress,” Modi said.
Assam goes to polls in three phases on March 27, April 1 and April 6. It has tied up with the AIUDF, three Left parties and two regional parties to form a ‘grand alliance’ against the BJP.
During the rally, Modi also referred to a video that did the rounds on social media earlier this year. In it, state Congress chief Ripun Bora is purportedly heard whispering to MP Gaurav Gogoi at a public event: “Gaurav, whatever happens later, politics is politics, let’s just make a few announcements today like loan waiver…”
Hitting out at the party over the video, Modi said that this was how the Congress functioned: By just making announcements.
“These people are cut off from the ground realities,” he said.
“Congress ruled for years, their corruption and vote bank politics have made Assam one of the most disconnected states,” Modi said, adding that the BJP-led governments were correcting the mistakes of decades of Congress rule.
Meanwhile, the Congress Thursday posed a set of questions to PM Modi, alleging that big announcements made by him for Assam have translated to a “big zero”.
Addressing a press conference in Guwahati, All India Congress Committee general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala said: “The first question is about Modi’s fake promise in the world’s largest river island Majuli, where he had given a speech on March 26, 2016 and promised to build a bridge over the Brahmaputra. Today, we want to ask why there was no development related to it.
“Now, on the eve of the Assam Assembly poll, why are they speaking lies, performing ‘bhoomi poojan’ of the bridge from Majuli to Jorhat, entailing a cost of Rs 925.47 crore?” Sujewala said.
In 2017, the BJP had announced that a 1,300-km expressway will be built on both banks of the Brahmaputra for Rs 40,000 crore, the senior Congress leader said. “But on February 8, 2021, the Rajya Sabha was informed that there was no proposal to build an expressway in Assam. Why have you cheated the people of Assam?”
Sujewala alleged a conspiracy to eliminate the identity of Assam with the introduction of the contentious CAA. “Why do you want to harm the indigenous culture and civilisation of Assam? Modi promised to implement CAA in West Bengal. On the other hand, they said their government will not implement CAA in Tamil Nadu, but he is silent in Assam. Why is this double standard?” he said. —WITH PTI INPUTS
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