Amit Shah in Assam
File image: Amit Shah

Jagiroad/Kamalpur: The next BJP government will enact laws to tackle the “menace of love and land jihad” in Assam, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Friday, as he accused the Congress-AIUDF alliance of encouraging infiltration that threatened to change the state’s demography.

Addressing election rallies, Shah said appropriate laws and policies will be put in place to strengthen Assamese culture and civilisation.

The BJP manifesto, which was released a few days ago, apart from promising laws against love and land jihad, said its government will enforce a deradicalisation policy to identify and quash organisations and individuals fanning communal exclusion and separatism.

Shah alleged that it was the under the Congress government’s patronage that infiltrators brought in with AIUDF chief and MP Badruddin Ajmal’s support encroached land of ‘sattras’ (Vaishnavite monasteries) and other places of worship, besides that of the Kaziranga National Park. “This land jihad must stop,” he asserted.

“Badruddin Ajmal indulged these infiltrators in order to change Assam’s identity and civilisation. He may be the Congress’s identity but not that of Assam. Give BJP the mandate for another five years and we will ensure that this land jihad ends,” he added.

While the concept of “love jihad” is well known and BJP governments in some states like Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have enacted laws to prevent forced religious conversion for marriage, little is known about “land jihad” beyond Assam.

Many state BJP leaders have alleged that Hindus were being forced to sell off their land in Muslim majority areas because of harassment which they call “land jihad”.

Shah accused the Congress and AIUDF of encouraging inflitration for their vested interest.

“If they come to power, infiltration will increase and change the demographic identity of the state,” he alleged.

“The Congress manifesto is merely a tool for election campaign but the BJP manifesto is meant for implementation,” he asserted.

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The home minister also accused Congress leader Rahul Gandhi of saying Ajmal represented Assam’s identity. “He (Gandhi) does not understand Assam and its identity,” Shah said.

Assam’s identity is linked to Vaishnav saints Srimanta Sankardeva and Madhavdeva, brave Ahom general Lachit Barphukan who saved the state from Mughal invasion and Bharat Ratnas Bhupen Hazarika and Gopinath Bordoloi, he said.

“We will not allow Ajmal to become a symbol of Assam’s identity notwithstanding Congress’s efforts to do so. Can the Congress and AIUDF save the state from illegal infiltration?” he said.

The BJP has already made Assam free from insurgency and agitations in the last five years and is committed to ridding it of infiltrators and recurrent floods over the next five years.

“Rahul baba should remember that it was their chief minister Tarun Gogoi who once dismissively asked about the AIUDF chief ‘Who is Ajmal?’ And now it is the Congress which has joined hands with Ajmal to gather votes. I think Gogoiji has got his answer in heaven,” he said.

Calling the Congress a “sold-out” party, Shah said, “It has no agenda left except for promoting the tourism plans of the brother-sister duo (Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi).

“The Congress leader comes to Assam as a tourist and is seen in the state only for 2-3 days during the elections.

He then vanishes for the next five years,” Shah said.

There are only three images before the people of Assam–that of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s development and service to people, of Rahul Gandhi’s tourism and Ajmal’s agenda of infiltration. The people of Assam have to decide what they want, Modiji’s double engine for development or Congress-AIUDF’s double infiltration, he said.

He accused former prime minister Manmohan Singh, who represented Assam in the Rajya Sabha, of not solving the state’s problems, particularly failing to ensure payment of oil and gas royalty of Rs 8,000 crore which Prime Minister Narendra Modi immediately released after assuming power in 2014.

The BJP government has taken several measures to ensure the development of not only Assam but the entire North East, he said.

The home minister said it was due to the prime minister’s efforts that the Bodo Accord was signed, paving the way for permanent peace in the state.

“But if the Congress and its allies are voted to power, violence will return,” he warned.

Once the BJP government assumes office for the second consecutive term, it will initiate the process of providing one lakh government jobs immediately and the exercise will be completed by March 31, 2022, Shah said, adding it will also facilitate creation of eight lakh jobs in the private sector.

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