Slamming the BJP-led alliance in Assam as coming together of “two dangerous forces of communalism and divisiveness”, Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “insulting” people of the state and going back on promises of development.
The Congress President also took potshots at the Prime Minister for his remarks linking his humble origin as a tea seller with Assam tea and said “those working in the tea gardens as well as tribals are asking when will the good days (achche din) come.” ‘Achche din’ was Modi’s poll slogan in 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Repeatedly claiming “insult” of Assamese and North-East people by BJP, Gandhi said the composite culture of the state was in “danger” and if BJP-AGP-BPF alliance government came to power in the state, the “era of peace and development”, which she claimed was brought during the 15-year-rule of Tarun Gogoi in the state, would be under “threat”.
Talking at length about the contribution of Congress in bringing peace and prosperity in Assam, Gandhi said “this time the composite culture of Assam is in danger because two dangers have come together here. One is communal and the other is divisive.”
Positioning Congress as the counter-force to these powers, Gandhi asked, “Why so they oppose the Congress party and its workers? Because they know it well that Congress represents all sections of the Assamese society. They know that in 15 years of Gogoi’s rule, Assam has emerged as a peaceful and progressive state.”
“When they had ruled the state, it was known for anarchy and extremism. If such people came to power, the era of peace and development which continued for last 15 years will come under threat.”
BJP’s ally was in power in Assam twice in the past. She alleged “discrimination” against Assam by Modi government, and said, “Afterall, why brothers and sisters of North East and Assam are being insulted so much? Why Tarun Gogoi is being insulted this much? Why people of Assam are being insulted so much?”
Gandhi’s emphasis on the alleged “insult” of Assam, Assamese and the state Chief Minister is somewhat akin to the strategy adopted by Nitish Kumar in Bihar, who had made an issue out of certain remarks by Modi projecting them as insult of Bihar.