Guwahati, April 13: Voters in Assam will punish BJP for “imposing” Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and neglecting the state’s development, in the next two phases of Lok Sabha elections on April 18 and 23, AICC general secretary and Congress in-charge of Assam, Harish Rawat said here on Saturday.
“The ground report suggests that people in Assam voted against BJP in the five constituencies where elections were held on April 11. This trend will continue in the nine seats too. They will punish BJP for bringing the anti-constitutional bill. We hope to win in all five seats where election was held,” Rawat said.
Congress is banking on the strong protests in most parts of the state witnessed in December and January when the NDA passed the bill in Lok Sabha and tried to pass it in the Rajya Sabha. “Our president Rahul Gandhi has clearly promised that Congress will throw the bill into the dustbin, once we come back to power. We have clearly stated this in our manifesto too,” he said. The bill seeks to offer citizenship to non-Muslim migrants till December 2014 from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. But indigenous people want deportation of all post-1971 migrants, irrespective of religion.
Exuding confidence that Congress would bag 10 of the 14 Lok Sabha seats in Assam, Rawat said voters in the Northeast were angry over Narendra Modi government’s decision to withdraw the special category state status and the Northeast Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy. “Now they can’t rely on development plank, so they are seeking votes in the name of Balakot attack. This is nothing but insulting the non-political stand of our armed forces. We (Congress) did not seek votes in the name of our victories in 1965 and 1971 wars with Pakistan. Even Atal Behari Vajpayee maintained that tradition and did not use the Kargil war for votes. But Modi is crossing all limits,” Rawat, the former Uttarakhand chief minister said.
“We have also made it clear that we will not allow a single Indian to miss the NRC, we will give better daily wage for tea garden workers and give ST status to six more communities.
We will also take step to give ST status to all sub-tribes of tea garden workers living in Assam. But BJP is using the ST issue since 2014 for votes only,” he said. (Courtesy: DH)