Sivasagar (Assam), Feb 14 (PTI) Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Sunday said the BJP keeps on asking what the Congress has done in its decades in power and his answer to that is it strengthened the country's unity and brought people of different castes and religions together.
Addressing a rally here that kickstarted the Congress' poll campaign in Assam, Baghel said that from the time of the independence movement, there have been two ideologies at work -- one that divides and the other which unites.
Earlier, on one hand there were the Britishers who implemented their 'divide and rule' policy, and on the other side were those, who under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, united workers, farmers, women and youth to take on the British, he said in the presence of former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.
There was one ideology that was led by the likes of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Abul Kalam Azad and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, while on the other hand the Britishers were following the 'divide and rule' policy, making brothers fight and pitting castes and religions against one another.
Today, Rahul Gandhi is providing leadership to those who are working to unite people, while those sowing discord are being led by the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he alleged.
'There is a need to unite the country. The BJP always asks what the Congress has done in the last 70 years, I would like to reply that they strengthened India's unity and integrity,' Baghel, who has been appointed as a senior observer by the Congress for the upcoming Assam Assembly polls, said.
The Congress kept the people of different religions and castes together and, therefore, gave the slogan 'Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Isaai, aapas mein sab bhai bhai', the Chhattisgarh chief minister said.
The BJP says the Congress did not do anything, so who made the railway stations and airports that they are 'selling', Baghel said.
For 70 years, the Congress united the people, he asserted.
Slamming the BJP for allegedly making 'false promises' to the people for the sake of polls, he alleged that it is a 'party of jumlas (rhetoric)'.
'On one side, there are the 'jumlebaaz' who only know how to defraud and loot, and on the other hand is Rahul Gandhi, who walks on the path of truth and does what he promises,' Baghel said.
Rahul Gandhi had promised loan waiver in Chhattisgarh and did it within 10 days of the Congress government being formed, Baghel said, adding that Rs 10,000 crore of 19 lakh farmers was waived soon after his swearing-in.
Gandhi also ensured the return of land to adivasis in Chhattisgarh, he said.
Baghel urged the people of Assam to repose their trust in Rahul Gandhi and bring the Congress to power for the development of the state.
Besides Gandhi, senior Congress leaders such as Congress' Assam unit chief Ripun Bora, AICC in-charge of the state Bhanwar Jitendra Singh, Congress' deputy leader in Lok Sabha Gaurav Gogoi, Debabrata Saikia, party MP Abdul Khaleque and Mahila Congress chief Sushmita Dev were also present at the rally.
The election to the 126-member Assam Assembly is likely in March-April.
The Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) has announced that it will contest the forthcoming state polls in alliance with five parties -- AIUDF, the CPI, CPI(M), CPI(ML) and the Anchalik Gana Morcha -- to oust the ruling BJP from power. PTI ASK ANB ANB