January 18, 2016 6:50:29 pm
Even as the BJP state unit is working overtime to make prime minister Narendra Modi’s one-day trip to Assam on Tuesday a grand success – especially in view of the forthcoming assembly elections –, the Congress party has mounted a massive campaign asking numerous questions intended at embarrassing the PM.
“Achche din? Where is the achche din?” asked one of the numerous hoardings put up across the state in the last few days. “Look, the dream merchant comes again. But will he be able to sell sour mangoes again?” asked another. A third one on the other hand asked, “What did Assam get out of BJP ministers’ 210 trips to Assam in 19 months of Modi govt? Vikash or Vinash?”
Modi, who arrives here early Tuesday morning, will first take a chopper to Kokrajhar where he will address a meeting organized by the Bodo People’s Front (BPF) that had only on Sunday night clinched an alliance with the BJP in the national capital. The BPF was, till June 2014, an ally of the Congress party and also had ministers in the Gogoi cabinet.
The prime minister will later address a youth rally at Khanapara in Guwahati, and then interact with about 3000 students from different colleges and universities at IIT Guwahati before flying back to New Delhi. “Tomorrow I will address a public meeting of tribal communities in Kokrajhar & a youth rally in Khanapara, Guwahati,” the prime minister tweeted.
Modi’s trip to Assam is particularly significant in view of the forthcoming assembly elections, which are likely to be held in mid-April. He of course has another official trip to Assam on February 5, when he will inaugurate the 12th South Asian Games here, and also attend commissioning of a gas cracker plant in Dibrugarh.
The BJP and BPF entered into an alliance in New Delhi on Sunday night, with BPF chief Hagrama Mohilary attending a meeting with BJP national president Amit Shah and general secretary Ram Madhav.
“We have achieved a political understanding with BPF. Now BJP and BPF will jointly fight the assembly election. I am now completely confident that this alliance will sweep the assembly election in Assam,” BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma, who played a crucial role in forging the alliance, tweeted.
BJP in very bad shape: Gogoi
Meanwhile, Congress leader and state chief minister Tarun Gogoi has said that the BJP was in a “very very bad shape” in Assam and was looking for allies. “Modi wants to boost the morale of the party before the assembly elections,” he said.
“The BJP is in very very bad shape in Assam. Just look at them. Less than two years ago they were boasting of winning 85 seats in the assembly elections. Now they have tied up with the BPF and are looking towards the AGP too. I doubt whether the BJP will get even 20 seats,” Gogoi said.
He also hit out at Modi for attending a rally of another party. “I have never seen a prime minister attending a political rally of another party. The BPF is a small party with limited jurisdiction. They are nervous. They cannot win on their own,” Gogoi said.
Gogoi also accused Modi of cheating Assam. “Why should the people vote for the BJP? They have cheated Assam. They have withdrawn Assam’s special status. They have withdrawn the Northeast Industrial and Investment Policy. They could not keep their promise of granting ST status to six communities,” he said.
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