GUWAHATI: Wooing the tea community voters of the Upper and Northern Assam, PM Modi on Saturday once again called himself a ‘chai wala’ and said that none but he understands the plight of the tea community people.
“If a ‘chai waala’ won’t understand your pain then who will?” Modi said in a poll campaign rally at Chabua in Assam’s Dibrugarh district. The PM campaigned at Chabua, a day after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi interacted with tea workers and even had lunch with them in the Chabua area of Dibrugarh district in Assam on Friday.
Making a scathing attack at the Congress, the PM accused the grand old party of supporting those who are trying to defame the northeast state’s tea.
He said, “A toolkit has been circulated that conspired to defame Assam’s tea and the Congress party supports these toolkit makers and then has the audacity to ask for votes in Assam. Can we forgive them?”
The Prime Minister said that the Congress and its allies only aim to loot Assam but the BJP in its last five years has laid a solid foundation for the state’s development.
“Assam has an integral role to play in the vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat. It can be an exporter of several organic foods and not just tea. There are massive opportunities for the production of organic fruits, vegetables in this region,” PM Modi said.
In the House of 126 in Assam, votes of tea garden workers work as a deciding factor in some 40-42 seats in Upper, Central, and Northern Assam besides Barak Valley.
Once considered loyal to the Congress, the tea workers largely shifted allegiance to the BJP in the 2016 Assam state election.
While the demand for a daily wage hike of the tea garden workers continued to be a poll issue in the state, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday announced that Congress will hike the daily wage of the workers to Rs 365 within six hours of coming into power in Assam.
Assembly elections in Assam will be held in three phases — March 27, April 1 and April 6 — while the counting of votes will take place on May 2.