Guwahati: Following Rahul Gandhi’s emphatic assertion that the Congress will not implement Citizenship (Amendment) Act if voted to power in Assam, the state unit of the party Wednesday urged cadres to collect ‘Gamochas’ (Assamese scarf) with messages against the Act.
The gamochas (traditional white and red woven cloth offered as an honour in Assam) collected as part of the anti-CAA campaign will be displayed at the martyrs memorial to commemorate the protestors against the Act who sacrificed their lives that the party proposes to set up in Guwahati if voted to power in the upcoming assembly elections.
“I request all Assamese to share gamochas with a message on why you do not want the CAA in the state. You may sign the gamocha and send it to us through courier or hand it over to any party worker when they visit you,” said party’s manifesto committee chairman Gaurav Gogoi at a meeting in Bihpuria.
The party’s state unit president Ripun Bora said “we have our ears on the ground and expect that the party will get at least 50 lakh gamochas from across the state and all of them will be displayed at the upcoming memorial”.
After Rahul Gandhi’s no CAA call, the Assam unit of the Congress is devising programmes to make the contentious citizenship law an important election issue.
Polls to 126-member Assam assembly are expected in March- April this year.
The legislation had generated strong protests in Assam and elsewhere.
Five persons were killed in police firing in the state in December 2019 during violent protests against the Act that seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim religious minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Addressing his first public rally in the poll-bound Assam at Sivasagar on Sunday, Gandhi had declared that his party will protect every principle of the Assam Accord and will never implement the Citizenship (Amendment) Act if voted to power in the state.
Gandhi and other leaders were seen wearing ‘gamocha’ where symbolically the CAA word was crossed, giving a message against the controversial law.
Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has said that issues of Citizenship (Amendment) Act, National Register of Citizens (NRC) and unemployment are no more poll issues in the state.
But, the Congress which has formed a Grand Alliance with AIUDF and four other parties against the BJP for the state polls, has signalled that it would rake up the CAA issue prominently in the Assam assembly elections.
PCC chief Bora said that CAA shall be rooted out and the sacrifices made for saving “Assamese pride” will be immortalised.
The Congress Legislature party leader in the assembly Debabrata Saikia said that the dark days of BJPs oppression of Assamese people are about to end and “we will make sure that CAA is not implemented in Assam”.
The chairman of the Congress campaign committee Pradyut Bordoloi said people of the state will not forget the bruise that BJP has given to Assamese ethos through its divisive and communal politics.
“Assam, this is your tryst to become a part of history! A gamocha in your name with a message against CAA will find a place at the grand memorial site to be built in Guwahati. As requested by Congress, hurry up & send your gamocha to Assam Congress office,” Bordoloi tweeted.
With inputs from PTI