ITANAGAR, March 19 - Congress president Rahul Gandhi today promised to restore the special category status for the North Eastern States, including Arunachal Pradesh, if the party is voted to power in the ensuing general election.
Gandhi alleged that the BJP-led NDA Government has ended the policy for industrial development that the Congress Government had earlier implemented. He said his party would also reintroduce the North East Industrial Policy and reinstate the Special Plan Assistance for the region.
Addressing a large rally at the Indira Gandhi Park here, the Congress president said, �Arunachal Pradesh needs more roads, hospitals, airports, helipads. We gave special status to all States of the North East. It also had a special place in our hearts. Today, the people of Arunachal Pradesh are not allowed to make their own decisions. These decisions are imposed on them from Delhi.�
He added that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill that the BJP Government wanted to introduce was the �biggest attack� on the culture of the North East. �We have decided not to let the Bill pass. We believe in your culture, language and history as the strength of the nation,� he said, adding that �we will never attack the indigenous culture and heritage of the State�.
Describing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) introduced by the BJP Government as �Gabbar Singh Tax�, the Congress president said: �At midnight, Prime Minister Narendra Modi brought in the GST with much drama. They have destroyed the businesses of small and medium enterprises by imposing the GST. Till today, no one knows what this tax is, how it is to be paid. So when our party comes to power, we will get rid of the Gabbar Singh Tax, and give you a single GST.�
The Congress president also reiterated his promise of giving minimum income to all poor people. �We will give guaranteed minimum income to every poor person of the country,� he said.
�If (PM) Narendra Modi can give money to 15-20 (corporate) people, then why cannot we give money to the downtrodden people of the country, which will elevate them? They will receive money directly into their accounts,� he said.
The Congress president also claimed that while he cancelled all programmes following the Pulwama attack on February 14, in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed, the Prime Minister was shooting for a film at the Corbett National Park.
Tuesday�s rally was also addressed by AICC general secretary and in-charge of Arunachal Pradesh, Luizinho Faleiro, and Arunachal Pradesh Congress president Takam Sanjoy.
Those who shared the dais with Gandhi included AICC secretary in-charge of Arunachal Pradesh, Zenith Sangma, CLP leader Takam Pario, sitting MP Ninong Ering and the party�s Lok Sabha candidates, Nabam Tuki (Arunachal West) and James Lowangcha Wanglat (Arunachal East).