Nalbari (Assam), January 24: Pitching for another term for a BJP-led government in Assam to “safeguard” the interests of the state, Home Minister Amit Shah said on Sunday the Congress-AIUDF combine would open “all gates” to infiltrators if voted to power.
In his first political rally in the poll-bound state, Shah also took a swipe at the Congress for calling the BJP “communal”, and questioned the grand old party’s alliance with the Muslim League in Kerala and the Badruddin Ajmal-led AIUDF in Assam, two regional parties that draw their support mostly from Muslims.
At the ‘Vijay Sankalp Samaroh’, Shah asserted that an era of peace and development has ushered in Assam with the BJP in power in the state and also at the Centre under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Shah projected his party as the only alternative capable of safeguarding and promoting the regional culture.
He also took a dig at the Assam Jatiya Parishad, a party floated by former AASU leader Lurinjyoti Gogoi which is tipped to ally with Akhil Gogoi-led Raijor Dal, without naming them, saying they are in the poll arena to help the Congress by trying to cut into votes of the BJP.
Assam’s interests are not in their hearts, he said.
These two parties are stridently opposed to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and have alleged the CAA is a “threat” to Assam’s culture and identity.
The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), which has led mass agitations over the issue of regional identity in the past, has backed Assam Jatiya Parishad.
Hitting out at the Congress, the Home Minister said the party had adopted the British Empire’s policy of “divide and rule” by pitting different groups of people against one another, leading to bloodshed and loss of lives of thousands of youths.
The Congress created a divide between the Adivasis and the non-Adivasis, the Assamese people and the hill people, the Bodos and the non-Bodos, Shah said, alleging that over 10,000 Assamese youths were killed under the party’s reign.
“Tell me loudly,” he asked the crowd, “Can the Congress and Ajmal keep Assam free from infiltrators? If they come to power, they will open all gates to welcome them because they are their vote bank.”
Only the Modi government at the Centre and a government in the state which has its guidance and blessings can stop infiltration, he said.
The Congress has formed a “grand alliance” with the AIUDF, CPI, CPI(M), CPI(ML) and the Anchalik Gana Morcha (AGM) for the elections to the 126-member assembly likely to be held in March-April.
Appealing to the people of the state to vote for the BJP, Shah said Assam has become “bullet-free and agitation-free” and the next saffron dispensation will make the state “flood-free”, describing floods as its biggest problem.
Listing out development works carried out in Assam, he said over 20,000-km road length has been laid out in the state and six bridges constructed over Brahmputra. New hospitals and educational institution were built as well, he said.
Bank accounts have been opened for over 7.20 lakh tea garden workers, he said, adding the Centre gave Rs 1.55 lakh crore to the state under the 14th finance commission against only Rs 79,000 crore it had received when the Congress was in power in New Delhi.
Shah also referred to the annulment of provisions of Article 370, a move he said fully integrated Kashmir with India, and the beginning of the Ram temple construction in Ayodhya to laud the Modi government’s work.
Earlier in the day, Shad had also addressed a public meeting in Kokrajhar to mark one year of the Bodoland Territorial Region Accord (BTR), and said this has initiated a process of ending insurgency in the northeast.
Attacking the Congress, Shah said the party signed many agreements with different militant outfits in the past, but failed to keep the promises it made.
The BJP had come to power in the state for the first time in 2016, ending the 15-year long uninterrupted reign of the Congress. (PTI)