Assam’s unity under threat: Sonia attacks BJP

Sivasagar (Assam), March 30 (IANS) Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday said the unity and integrity of Assam is under threat as “two evil forces have united” against the Congress which had worked hard for the past 15 years to bring peace and prosperity to the state.

“The Congress government had worked very hard in the past 15 years to bring back peace and prosperity to Assam. However, the unity and integrity of the state is at stake now after two evil forces have joined hands in this election,” said Gandhi, with apparent reference to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP).

She said the two forces were opposing the ruling Congress party as they know that all sections of the people in Assam are with it.

Gandhi addressed two public rallies in Assam on Wednesday, one at Aamguri in Sivasagar district and the other at Biswanath Chariali in Sonitpur district in Assam.

The Congress president reminded the people of Assam that the state was known only for insurgency and bad fiscal health earlier and that the “same situation will be repeated if these two evil forces come to power in Assam once again”.

Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gandhi said that Modi and the BJP had opposed the India-Bangladesh Land boundary Agreement tooth and nail when they were in the opposition. “However, they made a U-turn on their positgion and signed the LBA agreement immediately after coming to power,” she said.

“While signing the recent framework agreement regarding the Naga Peace talks too, the prime minister ignored the chief ministers of the northeastern states which will be affected due to the Naga agreement,” said Gandhi.

“The country wakes up with Assam tea. The prime minister often appreciates Assam tea and says that he used to sell Assam tea. However, he is now aware about the pathetic condition of the tea garden workers in Assam. The tea garden workers in Assam are still wondering as to when the ‘aachche din’ (good days) will come in their lives,” she said, attacking the prime minister.

“The government cancelled the special category status for Assam and the prime minister also tried to snatch away the subsidized ration of the tea garden workers in Assam,” she said.

Gandhi also accused the prime minister of not doing anything for the welfare of minorities and adivasis (ethnic tribals) of Assam though having come to power two years ago.

“The price rise of essential commodities is yet to be checked and prices of essential medicines have also been increased beyond the reach of common man,” she added.

Attacking Modi on his assurance to bring back black money from banks abroad, Gandhi said that while Modi failed to bring back the black money, his government has, however, allowed those who had taken huge loans from banks and did not pay back to escape from the country, in apparent reference to liquor baron Vijay Mallya.

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