BeyondHeadlines Special Correspondent
Guwahati, Assam: in a counter attack, Congress party President Sonia Gandhi today charged the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)and Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) with failing to control inflation, check infiltration or enacting laws for the welfare of the people in Assam during their tenure.
“The BJP was in power at the centre and during their regime they did literally nothing to check infiltration from Bangladesh and now during the elections here, the same party is shouting from rooftops about the danger from Bangladeshis,” Gandhi told an election rally in Guwahati, Assam’s major city.
“It is the Congress government both in Assam and at the centre that is taking steps to check influx.”
“I heard today and saw on TV that these parties have raised the Bangladeshi migrants problem as a poll issue. They are going from place to place talking about it,” Gandhi told an assembly election rally here.
“But I want to ask them when their (BJP) government was in power at the Centre why did they not take any measure to stop infiltration even though our Chief Minister had raised the issue before the then union home minister. Do they now have any authority to raise a finger on us on the issue,” she asked.
Gandhi addressed another election rally in the western town of Dhubri and urged the people of Assam to give the Congress a third chance to rule the state.
“The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and the BJP have been carrying out a slanderous campaign in Assam, but let me tell you they did nothing for the people of Assam and only made false promises,” Gandhi said in Dhubri.
“What did the BJP-led government at the centre do in Assam and during that time the AGP was in power in the state. I challenge both the AGP and the BJP to clarify what they did for Assam during their regime.”
“During the earlier regime of AGP, the situation was such that nobody came out of their homes, nobody had time to think about development. Salaries were not paid on time to government employees and the government was burdened with loans as the exchequer became empty,” she said.
“But the Congress government headed by Mr. Tarun Gogoi brought the State out of this mess and made a turnaround in its economy putting the state on the path of development. It is, therefore, our responsibility to continue this pace of development,” she said.
“The schemes undertaken for employment, law and order, education, power and communication sectors must continue. The government has particularly fulfilled the dreams of the the poorer section giving free education to children up to 14 years,” the UPA Chairperson said.
In Assam there has been inclusive development benefiting the poor, youth and women, Gandhi said adding, “We have introduced pension, insurance and health scheme and National Rural Employment Gurantee Act (NREGA) scheme assuring 100 days employment to the poor.”
“To uphold unity and brotherhood, the Congress government has worked very hard in the last 10 years. When there is no peace in society it has a negative impact on development and people face hardship,” she said.
“Recognise the face of those who make brothers to fight. Give them a befitting reply,” she appealed to the voters.
Dwelling on the heritage of Assam, Gandhi said it is the land of Sri Sri Sanker Deb and Ajaan Fakir, whose influence on the society is evident.
“Their contribution to social reforms, peace, language and culture have strengthened the state and ensured its development,” she added.
Gandhi’s fiery speech was hailed with thunderous applause in both the rallies.
“I am appealing for votes on the basis of the good governance and overall development in Assam during the last 10 years of Congress government,” the Congress president said.
“And I am more than confident that the Congress would make a political hat-trick in Assam.”