Guwahati, Feb 17 (IANS) People of Assam responded with “spontaneity and enthusiasm” to Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s visit, which clearly indicates that the wind was blowing in favour of the Congress ahead of the assembly polls, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said on Wednesday.
Gogoi said the large turnout of people at public meetings and the ‘padyatra’ (march) by Gandhi in Gohpur, Bihpuria, Titabor and Sivasagar showed people were supporting the Congress.
“Fed up with the false pre-poll promises of the (Narendra) Modi government to usher in ‘acche din’ and U-turns on major issues concerning the state, the people have rallied behind the Congress, knowing that it is the most secular, pro-poor and development-oriented party,” he said.
Gogoi said the Modi government has squeezed the flow of funds by withdrawing the special category status, changed the funding pattern of centrally sponsored schemes and flood management programme, suspended the North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy, reduced MNREGA, and other pro-poor funds.
He said Modi had taken U-turns on all important issues like pushing back foreigners, and the land swap deal with Bangladesh, which showed the central government’s “double standards” to the fore.
“The people of Assam have realised that they were hoodwinked into believing that the prime minister would do something for them but he left them in the lurch. This policy of double standards will go against the BJP in the coming assembly polls,” he added.
Gogoi reiterated that the BJP, knowing it was on a sticky wicket in its bid to defeat the Congress, entered into an alliance with the Bodoland Peoples Front (BPF), had a tacit understanding with the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) and was inching towards parties like the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP).
“The BJP is nervous and shaky and is trying to cobble an alliance to defeat the Congress. But the people will rally behind the Congress as it has ushered in development during the past 15 years and give them a fitting reply,” said the three-time chief minister.
“The Congress came to power in 2001 when the state was passing through the worst period in its history. Law and order had collapsed with development activities coming to a grinding halt.
“Government employees had to wait for months for their salaries. My government had to spend its first term putting the state back on the rails. Now employees receive salaries on time and people move around fearlessly even late at night,” Gogoi said.
Gogoi reiterated that the Congress will fight the polls alone and not enter into pre-poll alliance with any party.
“We will contest the polls alone. The Congress will get a majority and form the government on its own,” he said.