(Eds: Adding details, collating stories) Biswanath/Gohpur/Dergaon (Assam), Mar 14 (PTI) Attacking the Congress for forging an alliance with the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) in Assam, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday alleged that the opposition grouping is only interested in grabbing power by dividing people on religious lines.
Terrorism and insurgency have declined in the state leading to the speeding up of the government's development activities, the senior BJP leader said while addressing rallies in Biswanath, Gohpur and Dergaon assembly seats where election will be held in the first phase on March 27.
The BJP is the only party that has given due respect and recognition to the icons of Assam at the national level, he claimed.
'What has happened to the Congress? When Tarun Gogoi was chief minister for 15 years, he never allied with the AIUDF. But today, they are with the AIUDF. Why? Is it only because of winning elections and grabbing power?' Singh said at Dergaon.
The Congress, which was in power for 15 years in Assam since 2001, has formed a Grand Alliance consisting of the AIUDF and six other parties to fight the election for the 126 -member assembly against the BJP-led NDA.
He also attacked the opposition party accusing it of dividing the country and the state in the name of religion.
'The BJP does not do the politics of religion. We are into the politics of humanity for humans,' he said.
The saffron party leader said that alliances should be forged with an intention to serve the country, not just to form governments.
The BJP is contesting this election in an alliance with the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and the United People's Party Liberal (UPPL), which are part of the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) -- the regional arm of the NDA.
Earlier in Biswanath, Singh said that peace has returned to the state with the members of a number of insurgent groups laying down arms in the last five years.
'When I knew that I would come to Biswanath, the 2014 massacre of Adivasis here came to my mind... But now, that situation is not there. There cannot be better news than hearing about the prevailing peace in the region,' he added.
NDFB(S) militants killed at least 81 people, including 76 Adivasis, in Sonitpur, Kokrajhar, Baksa and Chirang districts in December 2014. Biswanath district was created carving out a part of Sonitpur district.
After Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed charge in May 2014, the central government resolved to end all forms of terror and insurgency activities, said Singh, who was the Union home minister at the time of the killings.
'So many groups have laid down arms in these years...
The Assam condition has improved a lot compared to the earlier days. Now, only development and rapid progress are happening,' the senior BJP leader said.
On the problem of illegal immigration from Bangladesh, Singh said that the BJP-led government has sealed the land border barring a small portion and installed an electronic surveillance system along the riverine border.
Whatever minimum portion is left unfenced, it will be sealed once the BJP government returns to power in Assam, he said.
Singh informed the gathering that the BJP government in Tripura is also working in the direction to stop infiltration from the neighbouring country.
'When there will be a BJP government in West Bengal along with Tripura and Assam, no one will dare to cross our borders illegally. When the results of the Assembly elections will be declared on May 2, you will see the BJP forming government in West Bengal and Assam,' he added.
Paying respect to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives on the borders, the defence minister said that the BJP is fully committed to internal security and protection of international borders.
Without naming Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi, Singh said: 'A congress leader recently came here and visited tea gardens. She was seen plucking tea leaves. What was the need for this tokenism? I feel there should be concrete work on the ground.' He appealed to people to ask Congress leaders when they come to seek votes what development their party had made when it was in power in the state.
'The development that the Congress did not carry out in all the years took place only during the five years of the BJP government under the leadership of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal,' Singh said.
Nobody could level a single charge of corruption against either Sonowal or any of his ministers, he claimed.
At the rally in Gohpur, the senior BJP leader claimed that the people of the state were neglected by politicians in Delhi before Prime Minister Narendra Modis government was formed in 2014.
Modi ensured that one Union minister would visit Assam and the Northeastern states every month to listen to the problems of this region, he added.
Only the BJP has given due respect and recognition to the icons of the state at the national level, he said.
'The people of the North East are courageous and they can take risks. Assam has given birth to a hero like Ahom general Lachit Borphukan. For the country, he even killed his own uncle,' the Defence Minister said.
In the Battle of Saraighat in 1671, Ahom general Lachit Borphukan defeated the Mughal force led by Raja Ramsingh-I.
The National Defence Academy has the best cadet award in Lachit Borphukan's name, while a Coast Guard ship was named after Kanaklata, who sacrificed her life fighting for the independence of the country, Singh said.
The Bharat Ratna award was also conferred on music legend Dr Bhupen Hazarika by the Modi government, he said. PTI TR NN NN