Will quit if BJP proves Satra land encroachment: Gogoi

Guwahati, Dec 13 (IANS) Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Sunday offered to resign if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) could prove that any illegal foreigner is encroaching upon the lands of Vaishnavite Satras (monasteries) in the state.

“I’ll resign if they (BJP leaders) can prove that a single illegal foreigner is encroaching upon lands of Satras in Assam or they should resign. There is no encroachment on Satra lands and no Satra (monastery) has so far approached is complaining that their lands have been encroached by foreigners,” Gogoi said during a press conference at Dispur.

The Assam unit of the BJP recently criticised the Tarun Gogoi-led government for alleged large-scale encroachment on Satra lands by illegal foreigners from Bangladesh.

The chief minister said the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has infiltrated into the state’s Satras and accused the BJP of playing politics on Satras.

The Assam chief minister referred to Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s visit to the Barpeta Satra during his road show on Saturday and said that the BJP and RSS had incited a section of the people in the ancient Vaishnavite Satra to oppose Rahul Gandhi’s visit.

“We came to know about this. The BJP and the RSS encouraged a section of the women to sit near Barpeta Satra on Saturday to oppose Rahul Gandhi’s visit. That is why Rahul Gandhi did not enter the Satra yesterday (Saturday) in the beginning of his road show. However, he later came and entered,” said Gogoi.

A section of the people, particularly women had protested near the Barpeta Satra on Saturday as the Congress leader did not enter the historical Satra and started the road show even without bowing before the Satra.

They later alleged that Rahul Gandhi had insulted the people of Assam by not entering the over 500-year-old monastery.

Gogoi also slammed the BJP for resorting to false propaganda against the Congress ahead of the 2016 assembly polls.

“The BJP has no issues; so they are spreading false propaganda against us to win the elections. Whatever they do, we are going to win as the people of Assam are politically very mature,” he said.

“In the past, the people of Assam have voted against us. We are going to fight the polls on peace and development agenda,” the chief minister added.

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