Cong following in Jinnah's footsteps instead of Mahatama Gandhi: Shivraj

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(Incorporating his speech at two more rallies) Naharkatia/Duliajan/Dibrugarh (Assam), Mar 15 (PTI) Instead of following Mahatma Gandhi's ideals, the Congress is following in 'Jinnah's footsteps', Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said on Monday, asserting that it will 'destroy' the country.

Addressing three back-to-back election rallies on his first campaign for the BJP candidates in poll-bound Assam, the senior BJP leader said that the Congress has failed to carry out any developmental work in the Northeastern states since Independence.

Even former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was a Rajya Sabha member from Assam, 'did not do anything' for the development of the state, Chouhan said.

'Congress is not following in Mahatma Gandhi's footsteps.

Congress and Rahul Gandhi are following in Jinnah's footsteps.

This will destroy Assam and India,' Chouhan said,referring to their alliance with AIUDF in Assam, Indian Secular Front headed by a Muslim cleric in West Bengal and IUML in Kerala.

Pakistan's founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah is considered a hate figure in India for favouring partition of the country on the basis of religion.

In presence of Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal at the first rally in Naharkatia, he said that the Congress should feel ashamed for joining hands with AIUDF (All India United Democratic Front), claiming that even former chief minister Tarun Gogoi did not ally with that party.

'Congress has allied with Badruddin Ajmal, who has filled Assam with infiltration... He has a perfume business, but is spreading poison in the society... If 'naagraj' and 'saapraj' ally, then Assam cannot be developed.

'They don't need Ghulam Nabi Azad or Anand Sharma, but need only Ajmal... Congress has allied with Muslim League in Kerala and ISF in West Bengal. Congress is doing divide and rule politics,' Chouhan said taking a swipe at the grand old party.

Azad and Sharma along with other members of the G-23 have not found place in the list of campaigers for the Congress party in the poll-bound states.

The Congress-AIUDF alliance is an 'unholy' one and is formed only to 'cheat' the people of Assam, he added.

The BJP leader alleged that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is 'dividing India' into north and south, while doing the same politics in Assam, creating differences between different tribes, communities and languages.

The former AICC president had recently compared voters in Kerala with those in the north, praising the southern state for being 'interested in issues', triggering a volley of criticism from the rivals.

'Rahul Gandhi is even breaking the Congress itself. Now, it is full of factions like G-23. There are different leaders and different groups.

'But, in BJP, we have only Sarbananda Sonowal and Himanta Biswa Sarma as leaders in Assam,' he added.

Terming the successive Congress governments in Assam as corrupt, Chouhan alleged that the opposition party had run 'cash-for-job scheme', which was dismantled by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal with arrest of the APSC (Assam Public Service Commission) chairman.

'Congress ruled Assam for 55 years, but what has it given? Assam, which was not defeated by the Mughals due to the heroism of Lachit Borphukan (Ahom general), Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi gave only infiltration, violence, terrorism, agitation, hunger and unemployment,' he added.

The Congress has always used illegal immigrants as their vote bank, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal took initiatives to curb infiltration into the state, Chouhan quipped.

The Congress will 'become history' under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, he said, adding 'Mahatma Gandhi wanted to disband Congress after India got Independence, but Jawaharlal Nehru opposed it. Now, Rahul Gandhi will fulfil Bapu's wish'.

'The Congress only knows drama and theatrics. Rahul swam in the sea in Kerala, while Priyanka plucked tea leaves in Assam. She didn't even know that it was off-season! Was there any film shooting going on?' he asked.

Chouhan also targetted Rahul Gandhi over his promise of setting up a fisheries ministry, saying that it is already in place.

'His tube light lit a little late. This party which is so directionless, how will they work for the development of Assam?' he wryly said.

Chouhan was in Naharkatia, which is going to the polls in the first phase on March 27, to campaign for first-time BJP candidate Taranga Gogoi, who will have a triangular contest with Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) president Lurinjyoti Gogoi and Congress' former minister Pranatee Phukan.

Sitting AGP MLA Naren Sonowal, part of the BJP-led NDA, is also in a 'friendly' contest against the BJP candidate.

Appealing to the people to vote for the BJP, Chouhan listed out a series of schemes rolled by the governments of his party at the Centre and the state.

'Did Congress do as much work in 55 years as Sarbananda Sonowal did in just five years?' he asked, adding that the BJP government will solve the perennial flood problem of the state by 'shifting flood water to lakes and ponds'.

He later campaigned for the BJP candidates in Duliajan and Dibrugarh. PTI TR SOM SNS SNS