Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has said the “divisive” BJP will go the Bihar way in Assam, where assembly elections are due in two months.
Addressing party workers at Gohpur in Sonitpur district and a women’s rally at Bihpuria in Lakhimpur district on Monday, Gandhi said peace-loving people in Assam have seen through the BJP’s divisive design to opt for the Congress yet again.
“Assembly elections are near, and we need to tell the people why Congress is their best option for saving the country from a party that has only ensured an atmosphere of intolerance and conflict between communities,” he said. “The BJP is desperate to rule the state through the politics of polarisation, but its fate will be similar to that in Bihar,” he said.
Rahul is on a two-day visit to add wings to the Congress campaign for Mandate 2016. He had launched the party’s campaign in December 11-12 by addressing a rally in western Assam’s Barpeta district.
Barpeta is dominated by migrant Muslims, who have over the years shifted allegiance from Congress to the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) headed by perfume baron Badruddin Ajmal. In 2011, the AIUDF won five of the eight
assembly seats in the district with a Muslim population of 70.73%. Muslims dominate at least 35 of Assam’s 126 assembly seats and are a deciding factor in 20 others.
Gandhi’s programmes at Gohpur and Bihpura – Titabor in Jorhat district and Sivasagar later in the day – were largely aimed at ‘tea tribes’ or Adivasis who account for a sizeable chunk of the voters in these areas.
The Adivasis, like the migrant Muslims, have been a traditional vote bank for the Congress.