Cong allying with outfits that wish to divide nation: Shah at rally in Assam

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(Eds: With more inputs) Margherita/Nazira (Assam), Mar 14 (PTI) Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday launched a scathing attack on the Congress for entering into alliances with political parties who are 'out to divide the country', and asserted that the BJP does not practise vote-bank politics.

Shah, during his rallies in Upper Assam constituencies of Nazira and Margherita, claimed that the grand old party, despite 'ruling the state for 15 years and having a prime minister who was a representative of the state', did nothing to solve the issue of illegal immigration.

Shah was referring to Manmohan Singh, who has represented Assam in the Upper House of Parliament.

'The Congress can go to any length to win an election.

It has aligned with Badruddin Ajmal's AIUDF in Assam, the Muslim League in Kerala and the Indian Secular Front in Bengal. Assam cannot be safe in the hands of Ajmal.

'People can decide for themselves who is more concerned about their welfare -- Prime Minister Narendra Modi or Badruddin Ajmal,' Shah said at a poll rally in Margherita, currently held by BJP MLA Bhaskar Sharma.

The BJP, during the last five years, has successfully ousted infiltrators who had encroached land at Kaziranga National Park and occupied plots owned by religious bodies, the Union minister said.

'Now, if you vote for the Congress, your vote will go to Ajmal's AIUDF, which, in turn, will encourage infiltration.

You have to decide whether you want a government that shelters infiltrators or the one that will oust them.

'Five years ago, I, as BJP president, had promised to make Assam 'andolan mukt'(agitation-free) and 'aatankbad mukt' (militancy-free). We have fulfilled our pledge, and there is no longer any agitation or militancy in the state. More than two thousand militants have returned to the mainstream.' The Union Minister further alleged that it was the Congress that had opened fire at youths during the anti- foreigners' agitation, and now 'members of organisations, which spearheaded the movement, have joined hands with the grand old party, in an attempt to eat into BJP's vote base'.

'Assam is now experiencing peace and development. Give us another five years and we will also be able to solve the problem of infiltration,' Shah claimed.

At Nazira, currently represented by Congress Legislature Party leader Debabrata Saikia, the home minister said the opposition, despite efforts, will find no reason to accuse the BJP government of corruption.

'Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma have ensured that the days of violence, agitation and corruption are over and the 'parivartan' (change) to usher in development has begun,' he said.

In a jibe at Congress leaders, who have promised doles to tea garden workers if elected to power, he said the party remembers these labourers only during elections.

'Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already taken several initiatives to improve the lives and working condition of the tea garden workers,' he noted.

Shah also said that the BJP government has chalked out a strategy to control floods in Assam.

'We have conducted a satellite survey, not just in Assam but the entire Northeast, and found that the flow of water from several water bodies can be diverted in a scientific manner. We expect to solve Assam's flood problem in the next five years,' he said.

Shah also pointed out that financial outlay of Assam was increased to Rs 1,55,300 crore from the earlier Rs 80,000 crore after the BJP formed government in the state.

Highlighting the schemes floated by the Sonowal government for the welfare of people, the home minister praised the incumbent dispensation for handling the COVID situation well.

The top BJP leader, taking potshots at the Congress, said the party managed to build a second bridge over the Brahmaputra almost 30 years after the first one came up, but the saffron camp has initiated work to set up at least six bridges over the river since 2016, when the party came to power in Assam.

'It was the BJP government that gave Bharat Ratna to Dr Bhupen Hazarika posthumously. The Congress which was in power both at the Centre and the state, could have conferred the honour on the musician long ago,' he added.

Margherita and Nazira, both in Upper Assam, are scheduled to go to polls on March 27. PTI DG RMS RMS