BJP Will Return to Power in Assam, Party Managed to Resolve Bodo & Bru-Reang Crisis: Nadda at Silchar Rally
BJP national president JP Nadda. (File photo/PTI)
Upbeat after the Bharatiya Janata Party's remarkable performance in two autonomous council elections -- Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) and the Tiwa Autonomous Council (TAC) -- party national chief Jagat Prakash Nadda on Monday claimed that the BJP was going to win more than 100 seats in the upcoming Assam Assembly polls that are scheduled to be held in April-May 2021. Nadda is on a two-day visit to the state to participate in various important meetings and public rallies.
Addressing a rally in Silchar in Barak Valley, Nadda said, "This Valley is always memorable for us because this place always blessed us whole-heartedly. We remember that in 1991 due to people’s support, Barak Valley was one of the first regions to keep trust on the BJP. Then, we got 9 MLAs and 2 MPs from this valley."
With 40 seats, BTC is an autonomous body under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution and consists of Udalguri, Chirang, Baksa and Kokrajhar districts, while TAC is a statutory autonomous council which constitutes under the State Act. The TAC comprises of Morigaon, Hojai, Nagaon and parts of Kamrup.
Highlighting how BJP, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, managed to resolve the Bodo and Bru-Reang crisis, Nadda said, "These crises were hanging for nearly 50 decades and more than 4,000 people (during Bodo movement) lost their lives. No one managed to resolve the issues. But it was PM Modi’s persistent efforts now that both the crises have been resolved. Not only that the Central government has given more than Rs 2,000 crore for the welfare of Bodo and Bru-Reang."
"It is the responsibility of BJP to safeguard the culture and language of Assam. Our party has always given importance to these things. We are working peacefully for the development of Assam, after taking into consideration interests of all communities. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was one of the first national voices to support the Assam Movement and now we have a vision for Assam under PM Modi’s leadership," he further said.
Talking about the welfare steps taken by his party, the BJP chief said, "Before the Swachh Bharat Mission, 30 percent of Assam did not have toilets but today Assam is 100 percent Open Defecation Free (ODF), and out of the 11 crore toilets built, 35 lakh were built in Assam."
Criticising the past Congress rule in the State, he said, "Under UPA rule, Assam got only Rs 50,000 crore for development but under Modi government, Assam received Rs 3 lakh crore for development. The land dispute was also solved by our government with the help of the Smart Fence project of the international bordering areas. These initiatives show how much are committed for the welfare of people in Assam and this time too we are confident that people will repose their trust on the BJP."
Nadda kicked off his poll campaign from Barak Valley -- consisting of three districts including Karimganj, Cachar, and Hailakandi -- as it has been traditionally a stronghold region of the the saffron party. In 2016, the BJP had won eight of the 15 seats in Barak Valley while All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) had won five and Congress got two.
This time, Nadda is hoping for better results as many in the opposition camps including Lakhipur Congress MLA Rajdeep Goala resigned and joined the BJP. The Congress is struggling to fill up the gap of big string leader and three-term chief minister Tarun Gogoi who died on November 23 last year.
However, the saffron camp is worried about the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) because 11 of the 33 districts in Assam are dominated by Muslim which includes Karimganj, South Salmara–Mankachar, Dhubri, Goalpara, Barpeta, Hailakandi, Morigaon, Nagaon, Hojai, Darrang and Bongaigaon. Despite the CAA, party insiders claimed that it will not hamper their target to achieve more than 100 seats out of 126-member assembly in the upcoming polls.
The BJP, which has 60 seats in the 126-member assembly, is aiming to win over 100 seats this time, along with its pre-poll partners. In 2016, BJP had contested in 89 seats and managed to secure 60 seats, while its ally Asom Gana Parishad contested in 24 and won 14 seats. Another partner Bodoland People’s Front contested in 13 seats and won 12 seats.
The Congress along with its ally, the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL), contested in 122 and four seats, and suffered a major setback as the UPPL failed to open an account while Congress won only 26 seats. Significantly, BJP’s vote share has increased to 29.5 percent in 2016 Assembly Polls.