Guwahati, Dec 28 : Accusing the BJP of spreading hate, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday said his party would ensure Assam was run not from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) headquarters at Nagpur but by the people of the state.
Addressing the Congress’ “Save Constitution-Save India” rally here, Gandhi took on the BJP governments at the Centre and in the state for firing on youths protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and said the spirit of the Assam Accord should not be diluted.
“Wherever the BJP goes, it spreads hate. BJP doesn’t want to listen to voice of people,” he said in his first visit to the state after the recent violent protests against the CAA.
There were repeated slogans of “CAA ami namanu (I don’t accept CAA)” from the dais as well as from the audience, while Gandhi garlanded the photos of the five persons killed during the protests.
He came down heavily on the BJP and the RSS, saying they won’t be allowed to “attack Assam’s history, culture and language”.
“Nagpur will not run Assam. The RSS chaddiwalahs will not run Assam. Assam will be run by the people of Assam from here,” he said, to tumultuous applause from the large crowd.
Gandhi warned that if any ruler felt he can “control and finish off” the language, history, and culture of the northeast (India) in only two minutes, “I will say they have no idea about you, they have no idea about the northeast”.
Promising to stand by Assam in both its joys and sorrows, Gandhi said the strength of the state lies in its spirit of unity, brotherhood and love.
“Assam cannot go forward if there is hatred and anger,” he said.
He sharply criticised the BJP for the fatal shooting of protesting youths in Assam and other parts of the country.
“In Assam, youth is protesting, in other states, protests are happening as well. Why do you have to shoot and kill them? What is the need to shoot the protesting youth? Why kill people who are protesting peacefully?” he asked.
Gandhi said the country’s youth are angry as they have to roam around looking for jobs with the BJP-led NDA government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi “destroying” the nation’s economy.
“Why are the youth of India angry? BJP has destroyed the country’s economy. Prime Minister Modi has destroyed India with GST, demonetisation,” he said.
He said Modi’s only job is to “divide the country”.
“Modi had promised 2 crore jobs. Today the youth roam about looking for jobs,” he said.
Gandhi sought answer from Modi about what happened to his pet project ‘Make in India’.
“Prime Minister, please tell us, what happened to Make in India? How many factories were set up in Assam?” he asked.
Iterating that Assam got peace because of the Assam Accord of 1985, he said: “Assam is returning to the path of violence due to the policies of BJP governments, both in the state and at the Centre. The spirit of the Assam Accord should not be diluted”.
Gandhi reminded the people that in his speeches ahead of the 2016 assembly polls, he had repeatedly said that if the BJP forms the government in the state, then the peace, progress and fraternity that existed in Assam would be ruined and it would return to the path of violence. “I feel sad to state that my apprehensions have been proved to be correct.”
Former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Googi read Article 14 of the Constitution that provides for equality before the law and equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.
Gandhi also visited the residence of Sam Stafford, who lost his life during Citizenship Amendment Act protests.