Accusing the BJP and the RSS of “dividing” Assam, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday said his party will protect every principle of the Assam Accord and will not let the Citizenship (Amendment) Act be implemented if voted to power in the upcoming assembly poll.
Sounding the Congress’ poll bugle in the state, Gandhi attacked the Modi government repeatedly alleging it was working with an approach of ‘Hum do, Hamare do’ — a term he recently used in Lok Sabha to claim the country is being run by only four people.
At his first public rally in Assam ahead of the assembly election due in the next few months, Gandhi along with all the senior leaders on the dais wore a ‘Gamocha’ (Assamese scarf) on which symbolically the word CAA was crossed out, making it clear the Congress’ opposition to the controversial law will be a major poll plank.
Gandhi hailed the contribution of former Assam Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Tarun Gogoi, who passed away recently, calling him Assam’s soldier who united the state and spent his entire life protecting it.
In an apparent reference to former principal secretary to Prime Minister Nripendra Misra being awarded the Padma Bhushan, the Congress leader, without naming anyone, said in the same award list which had Tarun Gogoi, there was also the “name of a bureaucrat from PMO and I felt sad the government of India had insulted Tarun Gogoi and this state”.
“On one hand there is the person who dedicated his entire life for people, united Assam and protected the flag of India, while on the other hand is the bureaucrat from PMO who only hailed the PM. Tarun Gogoi was my Guru, and I did not feel good about it,” Gandhi said.
Stressing the importance of the Assam Accord, Gandhi said it was in a way the “protector” of Assam and the “tool of peace”. “I want to tell you I, along with all Congress leaders, will protect and defend the principles of the Assam Accord. We will not back off even an inch from that,” he asserted.
Gandhi said illegal immigration was an issue in Assam and exuded confidence people of the state have the capability to resolve the issue through dialogue.
Alleging the BJP and the RSS are trying to divide the state, he said, “If Assam is divided, then Prime Minister Narendra Modi or your Chief Minister (Sarbanand Sonowal) will not be affected, but people of Assam and the rest of India will be harmed.”
If there will be violence in Assam and it is divided, then India will be harmed along with the state, he said adding that, “we will not allow this to happen”. “We are wearing this ‘gamocha’ which has CAA written on it which is crossed out which means that no matter what happens, CAA will not be allowed (to be implemented by us)… listen ‘hum do humare do’, we will never allow CAA (to be implemented),” Gandhi said.
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