Dibrugarh (Assam): Playing the ‘Bangladeshis’ card against the Congress government of Tarun Gogoi in the run up to next year’s assembly elections in Assam, BJP president Amit Shah accused the Congress of hatching a “secret plan” along with the All India United Democratic front (AIUDF) to make the state a part of Bangladesh.
Addressing a rally of 50,000 BJP workers here on Friday, Shah said Gogoi and AIUDF leader Badruddin Ajmal had been meeting “behind closed doors” in order to strike a pre-poll seat-sharing deal for the elections to the 126-seat assembly which are due by April 2016. But the deal the two leaders would go beyond seat adjustments, Shah said. What the two parties were hatching was a secret plan to make Assam an extended part of Bangladesh.
In the current assembly, the Congress has 78 seats while the AIUDF has 18. In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, the BJP won 7 of the 14 seats from the state.
Shah alleged that the border between Assam and Bangladesh had been left unprotected and therefore migrants from Bangladesh entered into the state and that by entering into talks with the AIUDF, the Congress was signalling its intention to allow migration to continue unchecked.
Shah appealed to the people of the state to vote for his party to bring in development and safeguard its borders from migrants.
“Vote for a BJP government in Assam to bring in a corruption-free government that takes the state on the path of progress and development, reduces poverty, gives employment to the jobless and secures the border from illegal migrants”, he said.
“The BJP wants to bring in a ‘desh bhakta’ (patriotic) government so that it brings development to the border state.
“Has the Congress been successful in stopping illegal migration from Bangladesh? The understanding we had on border with Bangladesh has been misrepresented. It (India-Bangladesh land Boundary Agreement, 2015) will seal the border of not only Assam but of the entire country,” he claimed.
“The BJP government has started the National Register of Citizens updation process (for identification of illegal migrants) in Assam. It was our commitment,” Shah said.
He also talked about bringing back to Assam the general secretary of outlawed militant outfit, ULFA, Golap Baruah alias Anup Chetia and said getting him to the state for interrogation was “our priority”.
Shah also accused the Congress-led Assam government of misusing central funds, while asking the Chief Minister to “give account of the money allocated by the Centre to the state”.
“For 15 years Assam’s people have brought Tarun Gogoi to power. Has he been able to give 24 hours electricity to each village, pure drinking water, treatment to common people in medical centres?” Shah asked.
Speaking on the reported poll alliance between Congress and minority-dominated All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), the BJP president wondered whether it could “give protection to the indigenous people”.
The state and the central government will work together for development,” he added.
The meeting was attended by over 50,000 BJP workers from five districts in upper Assam, considered to be a stronghold of the ruling Congress.
Hitting out further at the chief minister, Shah claimed, “Money has come to Assam from the Centre, but no account has been given by the state government. People of Assam are asking you (Gogoi) why Assam has remained far behind other states.”
Shah pointed out that Modi had said in Assam that the country’s progress was not uniform and that the western part was more developed than the eastern and Northeastern region.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi brought the DoNER to the Northeast to formulate plans here with a Union minister visiting the area every 15 days for finding out the ground reality to speed up the development process here,” he said.
On improvement of communication facilities in Assam, he said, “The BJP wants to convert the single train tracks to double track as we want the border states to be developed and be secure”.
On the massive erosions taking place in the state, Shah said, “Assam government cannot alone solve it and it is not the problem of the state alone. Both the Central and Assam governments will have to jointly tackle it”.
Meanwhile, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today alleged that Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s comment that “secularism” in the Preamble of the Constitution was incorporated later, is a clear indication of BJP’s “hobnobbing with the RSS ideology.”
“Union Home Minister’s comment on secularism exposes the party’s hobnobbing with the RSS ideology,” Gogoi said in a statement today.
The ruling dispensation at the Centre, together with the RSS, is encouraging the divisive and communal forces to realise their communal agenda, he said.
“Such direct endorsement is responsible for fanning intolerance in the country for the last few months. The divisive and communal forces have vitiated the age old co-existence of the country,” Gogoi said.
These forces are also responsible for threatening the unity and integrity of the nation and attempting to subvert the time-tested democratic principles of the country, he said.
The Chief Minister also questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s stoic silence to tame such forces when they tried to disturb the secular fabric of the country.
“Situation has come to such a pass that President Pranab Mukherjee had to remind the country of its core values of plurality, tolerance and diversity,” he added.
‘Expedite ST status’
On Thursday, Gogoi asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to recognise six communities in Assam as Schedule Tribe as early as possible.
In a letter to Modi, Gogoi said Moran, Muttock, Tai Ahom, Koch-Rajbongshi, Sootea and Tea Tribes, which are now in the OBC category, should be recognised as ST as demanded by the six communities.
The Chief Minister said the Assam government has fulfilled all the formalities of recognising the communities as ST and sent the proposal to the central government long ago and a resolution was also adopted in the Assam Assembly in this effect.
“I would like to request you to recognise the six communities as ST so that they can enjoy the socio-economic benefits provided under the Constitution,” Gogoi said.