Guwahati: Taking a step ahead of the regular poll promises made by political parties, the Congress party this time has chosen to give away ‘guarantees’ to the people of Assam. On Tuesday, All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra assured five guarantees to the people of the state if the party comes back to power.
From nullifying the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) to freebies, from hiking the daily wages of tea workers to lakhs of jobs, the Congress party leaders have announced these ‘guarantees’ at a public rally held at Tezpur.
“This election is an election of trust. The people of Assam were cheated by BJP for the last five years. They had promised 25 lakh jobs but gave CAA instead. Though promised of protecting ‘Jati Mati Bheti’ of Assam, the BJP government has put Assam’s identity at risk by bringing CAA. That’s why the BJP leaders though talk about CAA in other state’s poll campaigns, fear to speak a word on it and avoid the prime issue of the state,” Gandhi said.
Adding to her Pradyut Bordoloi, Assam Congress’s campaign committee chief, said that once Congress wins the election on May 2, it will pass a law in the Assam assembly that won’t allow the CAA to be implemented in Assam. “We have already asked lawyers to start drafting such a law,” he said.
Besides assuring of not implementing the contentious CAA, the other promises made by the party were- creating five lakh government jobs, free electricity up to 200 units per household, raising tea workers’ wages to Rs 356 and a stipend of Rs 2000 for housewives.
“I spent the morning with the tea garden workers. It’s sad that they work so hard since the morning but are underpaid. If one tea worker doesn’t go to work for some emergency then he or she may have to live without money or food. LPG cylinders were given under the government scheme but with rising prices of cylinders, they can’t even afford it. Though BJP had promised to hike the daily wages of these workers to Rs 365, they failed to do it yet,” she lamented.
Recently, the BJP led state government has approved the proposal to increase the daily wage of tea garden workers in the state by Rs 50 taking it to total of Rs 217. The party claimed that if Congress comes to power, it would hike the daily wage within 30 days.
The AICC general secretary alleged that BJP has taken Assam’s natural resources only as a medium of revenue but failed to perform its duties towards the land and its people. “For BJP, Assam is like an ATM. They earn from its tea and oil but do nothing for the people reeling under flood and poverty. Even the Guwahati airport, oil fields were sold to corporate friends of BJP,” she said.
Gandhi also added that the stipend for housewives would be one of the most unique steps to recognize the contribution of the homemakers in the country.
Congress general secretary in-charge of Assam, Jitendra Singh said, that like the five fingers in Congress symbol, each one stood for a guarantee. “There is a rising Congress wave in this election. That is why so many parties have joined the Congress-led Mahajot. The Bodoland People’s Front, known as the kingmakers of Assam politics, has also joined us because they can see who’s winning,” Singh said.