Tinsukia: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday called upon tea workers to trust his government and vote for them for the all-round development of tea workers, blaming Congress for supporting those trying to fade away the identity of tea.

Addressing an election rally of about 35,000 people at Janamukh Khel Pathar in Assam’s Tinsukia district, Modi said the fragrance of a tea planted in Assam reached across the globe. “You must have heard about a toolkit through which people are planning to defame India. The oldest party which ruled India for more than 50 years, Congress, is supporting those who want to fade away the identity of tea,” Modi added.

“Should we forgive Congress? Shouldn’t we teach them a lesson?” Modi asked the voters.

“Don’t forget to teach them a lesson in these elections,” appealing to the voters, Modi said, “The people of Assam will never forgive those who are trying to play with the life of lakhs of tea workers.”

The promises of Congress is as hollow as the Congress party itself, said Modi. Taking a dig at Rahul Gandhi, Modi said, “One of their leaders is camping in tea gardens for votes. You need to remain alert from such leaders.”

It is so surprising that after stooping so low, Congress dares to ask for votes, he added.

In an attempt to woo tea workers, Modi said the NDA government worked very hard to uplift tea workers. “Grants for tea tribe students opened 125 schools in tea gardens, paid thousands of rupees to pregnant tea workers, pucca houses, gas connection, water connection, land pattas, etc..”

However, Modi remained silence on the CAA issue and the granting of ST status to six communities of Assam.

Not committing to increase daily wages of tea workers to Rs 365 (one of the main demands of tea workers), a pre-poll promise before the 2016 assembly elections, Modi said, our government is committed to hiking daily wages.

Assam government did increase the wages, but the efforts reached courtrooms and got stuck. “Opposition is trying to use this opportunity to promote misconception among tea workers. They are the same people who never paid attention to tea workers. They used to lie earlier and are lying now.

The people of Assam need to remain vigilant from them,” Modi added.

Launching a scathing attack on Congress, Modi said, “Congress can do anything for power, can stitch an alliance with anyone even if those parties themselves are a danger to Assam’s identity and culture,” Modi said about the alliance between the Congress and the AIUDF. 

“Congress has reduced to a bhopu (a device to create loud noise) of lies,” Modi said, adding, “The entire country is watching them, and that’s why they have squeezed from what they were. The reasons are clear. For them, power is above all, and for that, they can lie to the country, and it’s people.”

Modi said all-round development is BJP’s preference. BJP has worked to generate employment for youths and increase farmers’ income. “We promise to save the identity and culture of the people of Assam,” he added.

Five years back, could anyone think of bridges over the Brahmaputra? Modi asked, adding, “We not just completed Dhola Sadiya and Bogibeel setu, but also constructed 4 big bridges, and many are under construction.”

Modi was accompanied by Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, BJP MP Rameshwar Teli and Pradhan Baruah and candidates of 12 assembly seats in Tinsukia and Dibrugarh district.

On March 27, 47 seats of 126 assembly seats, mostly from Upper Assam, are going to polls in the first phase.

Earlier, Rahul Gandhi kicked his two-day election campaigning in Upper Assam by interacting with students at Lahowal, addressing an election rally at Chabua and Doomdooma, besides talking to IOC employees at Digboi. 

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