Manoj Kr Borthakur
SIVASAGAR, Feb 14: Congress scion Rahul Gandhi, addressing about 15,000 party workers and party followers in a meeting held at the Sivasagar Boarding Field today, castigated the BJP over issues like the economic situation of the country, Assam Accord implementation, poverty alleviation and the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
The ruling BJP, he claimed, wants to destroy Assam by bringing the Citizenship Amendment Act, which the Congress will resist tooth and nail. Coining a typical phrase in Hindi, he said BJP’s motto in Assam is ‘Hum do hamare do, Assam se sab kuch lo,’ suggesting that the ruling party is looting Assam by dividing its people, giving nothing in return. He said the BJP wants to set Assam on fire so that it can loot everything unnoticed.
The Congress will implement every clause of the Accord if voted to power, said the former president of the grand old party, adding that the Assamese people will teach a lesson to anyone who tries to tamper with the Assam Accord.
Gandhi also lambasted the BJP government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over conferment of the Padma Bhushan award to an allegedly unknown bureaucrat along with a man of late Tarun Gogoi’s stature, who dedicated his whole life in safeguarding Assam from the brink of disintegration and destruction. He admitted that he had taken early lessons from late Gogoi about Assam and its people.
Criticizing the BJP’s economic policy, Gandhi said Modi has attacked the very foundation of the Indian economy by making the poor poorer through demonetisation and the GST.
Small traders have been suffering while business worth about Rs 80 lakh crore were offered to two capitalists, at a time when the nation had virtually come to a standstill during the Covid-19 pandemic, he said. Gandhi said the loss in the business sector is borne neither by Modi nor by the Assam Chief Minister, but by the poor people, the state of Assam, and India as a whole.
In an attempt to show that the daily wage for tea workers of Assam is too low, Gandhi pulled out Rs 167 from his pocket and asked the gathering if that is enough for a tea worker to sustain themselves. He criticised the BJP for doling out Assam tea estates to Gujarati tycoons.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, in his address, said that his government had initiated the land patta distribution work to landless people much earlier than the BJP government in Assam. Only the Congress, he said, with its century-old history of service to the nation can bring back peace and bliss to the people of Assam.
Earlier, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee president Ripun Bora, Congress legislative party leader Debabrata Saikia, and Sivasagar district Congress chief Sushanta Borgohain felicitated Rahul Gandhi with a hangdang, sapkon and a paguri.
The meeting was also attended by MP Prdayut Bordoloi, former minister Rakibul Hussain, Mariani MLA Rupjyoti Kurmi, Raju Sahu, Roselina Tirkey, Bismita Gogoi, Rekibuddin Ahmed, Pranati Phukan, Kalyan Gogoi, Prasanta Gogoi and other Congress leaders from across the State.