Union home minister Amit Shah and Bharatiya Janata Party president JP Nadda on Monday hit out at the Congress for allying with the Badruddin Ajmal-led All India United Democratic Front ahead of the three-phase assembly elections in Assam, as they promised to ensure the preservation of the state’s indigenous culture if the party retains power.
The Congress is “shamelessly” talking of secularism and culture preservation even as it has Ajmal’s party “seated on its lap”, Shah told reporters after launching the BJP’s social media campaign, Selfie with development.
The BJP will bank on five pillars to fight the assembly polls — ‘Suraksha aur Samman’ (protection and respect), ‘Samriddhi aur Judao’ (prosperity and connection), ‘Sanskriti aur Sabhyata’ (culture and civilisation), ‘Shanti aur Samvad’ (peace and dialogue) and ‘Swanirbharta aur Atmanirbharta’ (Self-reliance), Shah said.
“Assam elections will not just ensure that the BJP stays in power, but will also guarantee preservation of the state’s culture, traditions and civilisation,” he said, urging BJP’s social media volunteers to act “marg-darshaks” (guide) “to create awareness on our mission to build golden Assam”.
The Congress, which was in power for 15 years in Assam, has allied with the AIUDF and six other parties to fight the election for the 126-member assembly against the BJP-led NDA.
Attacking the opposition party for its poll alliance on the second consecutive day, BJP president Nadda said the “Congress has sold its soul to AIUDF”.
“In 2006, former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said ‘Who is Ajmal?’ He never allowed Ajmal and its communal thoughts to enter into mainstream. But today the Congress party is contesting election by taking help from a communal political party like AIUDF. I don’t know what the son of Tarun Gogoi is thinking right now. I don’t want to say this but Congress has sold its soul to AIUDF. Today Congress leaders are calling Badruddin Ajmal brother and friend, they are bending their heads before Ajmal,” Nadda said.
“If we look at ideology of present leaders of the Congress party, they are contesting against left parties in Kerala while in West Bengal they are in friendship with CPM. In Assam they are fighting election with the help of a communal party like AIUDF. And these people are talking about development of the country. I’d like to tell them, first you save your party and the ideology. The country is in a good hand, Modi ji will take care, don’t worry,” Nadda said.
Nadda accused the Congress of “latkana” (delaying), “atkana” (stalling) and “bhatkana” (misleading), saying that Prime Minister Narendra Modi only believes in “jodna” (integrating). “It is the Prime Minister who through his initiatives has joined Assam and the Northeast with mainstream India,” Nadda said.
Sharpening his attack on the Congress, Nadda said, “Congress party is now talking about 5-gurantee, though I am not aware of what guarantee they are giving, I can assure the people of Assam that Congress can give one guarantee that is corruption.”
He was referring to Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s recent speech at a rally in Assam, where she launched the Congress’s five-guarantee campaign including the promise to withdraw the Citizen Amendment Act (CAA).
The Congress, however, refuted the BJP’s allegations that it allied with communal forces. “These claims are false. AIUDF is not communal and they have not said anything that is communal. The BJP is desperately trying to polarise the election knowing well they are losing,” said Congress leader and leader of opposition Debabrata Saikia.
The state will vote in three phases on March 27, April 1 and April 6 for the assembly’s 126 seats.
(With PTI inputs)