Will win over 100 seats: Nadda at Assam rally
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president JP Nadda on Monday expressed confidence that the party would return to power in Assam, predicting that it would win over 100 of the 126 assembly seats in upcoming elections .
Nadda addressed a “Vijay Sankalpa” (victory pledge) rally in Barak Valley’s Silchar, beginning the party’s campaign for the assembly elections, likely to be held in April-May.
The BJP has given due recognition to Assam’s culture, language and identity, since coming to power in the northeastern state in 2016, Nadda said.
“The task of protecting Assam’s culture, language and identity has been done well by the BJP governments at the Centre and the state and we will continue that. We have been sensitive about the rights of Assamese people,” said Nadda.
Chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, state BJP president Ranjeet Kumar Dass, senior minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and senior party leaders including general secretary (organization) BL Santosh and state in-charge Baijayant Jay Panda were also present at the rally.
“The BJP has been working peacefully for the development of Assam, taking into consideration the interests of all communities. It has fulfilled their demands without harming others…Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah resolved the 50-year-old Bodo issue by signing a peace accord and bringing the militants to the mainstream. All stakeholders were taken into confidence and the accord ensured that their demands were given due recognition,” he said.
Nadda also cited the proposed grant of scheduled tribe (ST) status to six communities and the smart fencing of border areas with Bangladesh.
At the rally, the BJP chief targeted the Congress, alleging that there had was no progress in the state in the 15 years of Congress rule between 2001 and 2016.
“During those 15 years, the state saw killings of 2,155 civilians and 284 security personnel and over 12,000 people were kidnapped. Over 51% area of the state was not covered by electrification and 56% homes didn’t have toilets. All that has changed in the past years,” he said.
“During 10 years of United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre, Assam received ₹50,000 crore in assistance. But since 2014, when the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by BJP came to power, the state has got ₹300,000 crore till date,” Nadda said.
Reacting to Nadda’s statement, senior Congress leader Debabrata Saikia said, “Most of the development that took in Assam happened during the 15 years of Congress rule. Nadda seems to be unaware of it. He also seems to have no idea that crime rate in Assam hasn’t improved and the state has the highest rate of crimes against women.”
The BJP president’s comments come close on the heels of the launch of several new regional parties in the state, which have accused the ruling party of not being sincere in safeguarding Assam’s ‘jaati’ (community), ‘maati’ (land) and ‘bheti’ (base).
Two student organisations, All Assam Students Union (AASU) and Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad (AJYCP), who were spearheading the anti-Citizenship Ament Act (CAA) protests in the state in December, 2019, have joined hands to form Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP).
Another organisation at the forefront of the anti-CAA stir, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), has also formed a political party called Raijor Dal. The organisation’s leader, Akhil Gogoi, who is in jail since December, 2019, for his role in the violent protests, was named president of the new party last week.
The BJP president, who arrived here on Monday on a two-day visit, is set to leave later in the day for Guwahati, where he will hold meetings with members of the party’s state unit core committee, election committee and other office bearers.
(With PTI inputs)
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