BJP national president J P Nadda on Monday mocked the Congress, comparing it with an elephant having two sets of teeth – “one to show off and another to chew”. Addressing an election rally at Tingkhong in Dibrugarh district, Nadda also accused the Congress of practising “politics of opportunism” and said Assam will head into “darkness” if the opposition party is voted to power.
“The Congress’ only aim is politics of opportunism.They are with the Muslim League and fighting against the CPI(M) in Kerala, but joined hands with it in West Bengal and Assam…,” Nadda said.
“Like a tusker, the Congress has two sets of teeth — one to show off and another to chew. It says something and always does the opposite… It is dividing the society,” the senior BJP leader said. Repeatedly attacking the Congress, he said the opposition party “means darkness”, while the BJP stands for development.
“If you need darkness, then go with the Congress. But if you need development, hold the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Nadda said at the rally. The Congress has neglected Assam and the northeast since Independence, and did nothing to develop the region, he alleged.
“Because of Congress’ double standard, the wheels of development had totally stopped. It attacked the civilisation of Assam, sidelining the state’s culture. But, BJP brought development and protected Assam’s culture and language,” Nadda said. The opposition party never gave any importance to the safety of Assamese people, including not solving the Bodo problems for 50 years, he claimed.
Attacking the Congress-AIUDF alliance, Nadda said former chief minister Tarun Gogoi never allied with the Badruddin Ajmal-led party, but his son has now embraced the AIUDF. “This is nothing but opportunism. How are you going to protect the Assamese culture? with Ajmal?” the BJP chief said.
Gogoi’s son Gaurav is a Lok Sabha MP and chairman of the Manifesto Committee of the Assam Congress. The Congress, which was in power for 15 years in Assam since 2001, has formed a ‘Grand Alliance’ with AIUDF, BPF, CPI, CPI(M), CPI(ML), Anchalik Gana Morcha (AGM), RJD and the Jimochayan (Deori) Peoples Party (JPP) to fight the upcoming Assembly election against the BJP-led NDA.
Nadda also alleged that the Congress did nothing for the development of the tea garden workers, protection of ‘Namghars’ (a place of worship for Vaishnavite followers) and ending violence in Bodoland areas. “During the Congress tenure, 2,155 people died, 2,004 security personnel lost their lives and 1,300 people were kidnapped in Bodo areas. When the BJP came, the Bodo agreement was signed, 4,000 assault rifles were surrendered and 2,300 cadres laid down arms,” he claimed.
Nadda accused the Congress of “latkana (hanging), atkana (stalling) and bhatkana (misleading)” people on development projects, “which have been cleared after the BJP formed government in Assam”. During BJP’s tenure, land pattas (deeds) were given to 3.3 lakh people, 135 mobile medical units were set up for tea gardens, Rs 1,000 crore allocated for welfare of such areas, Bogibeel bridge over Brahmaputra was completed and Rs 8,000 crore gas royalty was provided, he said.
“During the 13th Finance Commission, Rs 50,000 crore was given to Assam. The 14th Finance Commission after BJP came to the Centre provided Rs 1,55,000 crore to the state,” Nadda said. In an apparent reference to Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi, Nadda said the social media handle of the opposition party shared pictures from Taiwan and Sri Lanka when “one leader” of the party visited tea gardens of Assam.
“She plucked tea leaves then. But as far as I know, tea leaves are plucked only after April. Then why was this photo shoot? The Congress is cheating people,” he said. The Assam Assembly elections will be held in three phases on March 27, April 1 and April 6.