Firming up Congress party’s attack on the BJP, its main challenger in the Assam polls, Sonia Gandhi accused it of “dividing” people of the state. Seeking fourth straight term for the Congress party in the crucial north-eastern state, the Congress party chief also took on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his speeches on tour abroad and action at home.
“Modiji jab videsh jaate hain toh sabko gale lagate hain aur awam ko lekar badi badi batein karte hain par desh mein wapas aakar nafrat failate hain,” Ms Gandhi said addressing an election rally in Lower Assam’s Sarukhetry in Barpeta district.
“Assam is a shining example of harmony with its people following the teachings of Sankardeva and Azaan Fakir. Modiji and his ministers are moving across the state making false promises and creating divide among the people,” she said continuing her attack on the BJP.
BJP has emerged a tough challenger for the Congress party in these polls, especially after its performance in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, where the party bagged 7 out of 14 seats.
Before the emergence of BJP, Congress party was once challenged by the regional outfit AGP, which has now tied-up with the BJP. These elections are also tipped to be the toughest challenge thus far for the incumbent Tarun Gogoi-led Congress government, who is facing an alliance of BJP, AGP and other regional party BNP.
Interestingly, Sonia Gandhi reiterated the line her son and party vice president Rahul Gandhi took last week addressing a rally in the state where the latter had trained the guns at the RSS.
“BJP’s communal politics is controlled from Nagpur and this is a grave danger to democracy,” she said in a reference to the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS).
Shifting gears, the Congress party president claimed that state progressed under the 15-year-old Congress rule, given her party’s ideology of taking people of all religions, castes and creeds along.
“Fifteen years ago Assam was faced with insecurity, instability and violence and it was Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and his ministers who toiled hard to bring peace, development and progress in the state,” Gandhi said adding Gogoi government took major initiatives like educational institutions for youths, employment to lakhs of people under MGNREGA, 30 per cent reservation for women, schemes for development of the girl child and improvement in the health sector among few.
She also used the occasion to take on the BJP-ruled Centre for its decision to impose President’s rule in two Congress party ruled states – Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Alleging further that BJP had no faith in the Constitution or democracy, she said “the Prime Minister is keen to stifle our voice and has not stopped from attacking the Constitution. He has forgotten our nation’s traditions.”
Assam will poll for the second and last phase on April 11. The first phase of polling on April 4 saw a little over 80% voting. Results are slated to be declared on May 19.
(With inputs from the PTI)