BJP indulged in negative campaigning in Assam, claims Congress

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Guwahati, Apr 4 (PTI) Senior Congress leader Jitendra Singh on Sunday claimed that the BJPs campaign in Assam has been full of negativity and the language used by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah during canvassing was aimed at dividing the Assamese society.

Asserting that the Congress-led Grand Alliance will sweep the assembly polls in the state, Singh alleged that the recent incidents such as reduction of punishment of the BJP minister Himanta Biswa Sarma proved that the Election Commission is acting 'like the agent' of the saffron party.

Addressing a joint press conference of the constituents of the 10-party opposition grouping before closing of the campaigning for the third and final phase of elections on April 6, the AICC's in-charge of Assam claimed that the Grand Alliance is on its way to accomplish the target of winning 101 seats in 126-member assembly.

The Congress, which was in power for 15 years in Assam since 2001, has formed a Grand Alliance with the AIUDF, BPF, CPI(M), CPI, CPI(ML), Anchalik Gana Morcha (AGM), RJD, Adivasi National Party (ANP) and the Jimochayan (Deori) Peoples Party (JPP) to fight the Assembly election against the BJP-led NDA.

'The BJP's politics has stooped so low that the language used by the prime minister and the (union) home minister was aimed at dividing Assamese society, culture and history. Modi and Shah come to Assam only during elections.

Where were they when Assam was burning under the anti-CAA agitation or when people were suffering from floods? 'In their entire campaign, not a single positive speech was made for the youths, farmers, women or tea garden workers. They only campaigned to divide the society. Has Modi fulfilled a single promise made to Assam five years ago?' Singh said.

Raising questions over the neutrality of the ECI, he said that the Congress has been stating for the last seven- eight years that the poll panel is 'under the BJP' and is acting 'like their agents'.

'You can see the ECI's role in every state election.

In Assam, an EVM was found in a BJP candidate's car. A minister, who is also a candidate, threatens the chief of another party with NIA (probe). And the ECI just gives a minor warning and let him go,' he added.

A controversy was created after a polling team was found carrying an EVM in the vehicle belonging to the wife of a BJP candidate on the night of April 1 when the second phase of election was held.

The ECI had on Friday banned Himanta Biswa Sarma, a BJP candidate, from all modes of campaigning for 48 hours for allegedly making threatening remarks against Bodoland People's Front (BPF) chief Hagrama Mohilary. However, the poll panel on Saturday reduced the ban to 24 hours after the minister tendered an 'unconditional apology'.

Had the ECI been neutral, both the BJP candidates would have been disqualified by now, Singh said.

'Also, EVMs have been disbanded in developed nations such as the US, France, Germany and Italy. But EVMs are in use in India with the BJP using the ECI for its benefit,' Singh said.

The CPIs Assam secretary Munin Mahanta claimed that there is a 'storm' in favour of the Grand Alliance and anyone coming on its way will be 'decimated'.

The BJP has crushed all democratic aspirations of the people of Assam during its five-year-rule in Assam, AGM chief Ajit Kumar Bhuyan alleged.

Leaders of the other Grand Alliance partners also spoke at the media conference and exuded confidence that the opposition grouping will win the election with a huge margin.

The Congress' Campaign Committee chairman Pradyut Bordoloi said that all the promises made during the campaign will start getting implemented in the one-and-half month after the opposition alliance forms the government.

'Against the BJP's politics of division, we presented the politics of vision,' Assam Congress president Ripun Bora said. PTI TR NN NN