Guwahati, Feb 24 (PTI) Ridiculing Union Home minister Amit Shah's setting a target of winning 100 plus seats in Assam, Congress leader Bhupesh Baghel has said he is actually speaking for us like it happened in Chhattisgarh where his 'mission 65 plus' came true for the opponent.
The Congress-led Grand Alliance will sweep the upcoming elections to 126-member Assam Assembly with three-fourth majority as the people are looking for 'parivartan' (change) from the BJP government, the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister said.
Baghel a close confidant of Rahul Gandhi has been appointed as the Observer by the All India Congress Committee for its Assam unit for the state polls due in March-April.
'Amit Shah went to Chhattisgarh and said 65 plus. I had told then that 65 plus he is saying for us. The result came and we won 68 seats, which have become 70 now.
'So, Amit Shah is saying it for us in Assam too where we will get 100 plus,' Baghel told PTI in an interview.
In 2018, the BJP had set a target of winning over 65 seats under its 'mission 65 plus' in the Chhattisgarh assembly polls, but interestingly, the Congress had registered a landslide victory in over 68 out of 90 assembly segments.
Talking about the poll scenario in Assam, he said 'People are looking for a 'parivartan' because they are not happy with the government's works. The promises made were not fulfiled.
The BJP showed dreams, which were not realised. People are feeling cheated.' Big promises made by the BJP on a range of issues like implementation of Assam Accord, publishing a correct National Register of Citizens (NRC), tea workers' wage, sealing of Bangladesh border and expressway on both sides of Brahmaputra were not fulfilled, he added.
'Assam is going to see the next government by the Grand Alliance. We will form the government with three-fourth majority,' Baghel asserted.
The Congress, which was in power for 15 years in Assam since 2001, has formed a Grand Alliance with AIUDF, CPI, CPI (M), CPI(ML) and Anchalik Gana Morcha (AGM) to fight the upcoming Assembly election against the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
The 2016 elections in Assam gave a fractured mandate and no party got an absolute majority. The Congress had won 26 seats, while the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) bagged 13.
The BJP became the single largest party with 60 MLAs, while its allies Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and Bodoland People's Front (BPF) had won 14 and 12 seats respectively. The ruling coalition also had the support of an Independent MLA.
Continuing his tirade against the BJP and its leadership, Baghel alleged that Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma is 'lying and misleading' people on sensitive issues,including Citizenship (Amendment) Act and Clause-6 of Assam Accord.
Reacting to Sarma's statement that the rules of CAA, when framed, will have 'striking balance' between advantages given to Hindu immigrants and interest of the Assamese people, the Congress leader said, 'CAA is prepared for national implementation. How can the state change it? 'Himanta Biswa Sarma is lying and misleading the people only for the election.Lok Sabha passed the CAA and the Government of India will implement it. That is why we are opposing it.' Baghel also slammed Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal-led state government for not implementing Assam Accord and its Clause-6, while asserting that the Congress is fully committed to the historic document.
On failure of sealing the border with Bangladesh, he said, 'Why have they not done it in five years? The government has committed fraud with peoples' sentiment. They have tried to dismantle the cultural heritage of Assam. That is why our slogan is 'BJP bhagao, Assam bachao'.' Countering BJP's allegation of Congress indulging in minority politics along with AIUDF, Baghel questioned how many illegal immigrants have been deported during the tenure of BJP governments at the centre and state.
'Just see how many were deported during Congress period and BJP period, and you will know who is doing appeasement.
They only do lip politics and then forgets it after grabbing power,' he added.
Assam Congress chief Ripun Bora had last month claimed that only 1,822 foreigners were deported from across the country from 2014 to 2017 and as per the reply of the Home Minister in Parliament the figure of deportation stood at 82,728 foreigners during UPA tenure from 2005 to 2013.
On the NDA's charge of Congress forming a communal alliance with AIUDF, Baghel said, 'BJP is unnecessarily shouting against AIUDF and our alliance. It's a six party alliance and they are silent on CPI, CPI(M), CPI(ML) and AGM.' He further said that all the alliance partners fought separately in the last election and BJP got the benefit.
'So, we have decided to unite all the votes against BJP to win and it is simple mathematics,' he added.
On the charge of Congress becoming a Muslim party due to joining hands with AIUDF, Baghel said, 'Why don't BJP talk about their achievements of the last five years? Let them talk about what they have given to Assam and its farmers, tea workers, poors and youths.
'What did they do to save the Assamese culture? The question is how to save Assamese culture. It's very rich.
People from all caste, creed, race and religion live here with brotherhood. But, they are into divide and rule politics between Hindu and Muslim. This is the face of BJP, which never seeks votes on their performance.' Baghel also pointed out that BJP itself has tied up with AIUDF to rule the zila parishads in several districts, including Darrang, Karimganj and Nagaon. PTI TR SNS SNS