Guwahati: Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal has challenged former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, few hours ahead of his visit to Assam, to respond to the allegation that the Congress allowed lakhs of immigrants from neighbouring countries to come to Assam only to strengthen their vote banks throughout the state over the years.
Referring to the Assam Agitation martyrs, the Assam chief minister also asked Rahul Gandhi to announce publicly why 855-odd Assamese youths were killed during the historic movement.
“Can Rahul Gandhi respond to this? No, how can’t he be able to respond to that? It’s only because of the Congress party that the demographic pattern of Assam has changed due to the unabated influx of the immigrants from the neighbouring country,” Sonowal said while addressing a mammoth public rally in Jagiroad on Friday.
“Answers to these questions must be given by the Congress party to the indigenous people of Assam,” he said.
Questioning the Congress leadership for their various policies, including allowing unabated influx of immigrants from Bangladesh which created uncertainties for the indigenous people of the state, the Assam chief minister also criticised the Congress leadership alleging that the party has never learnt to honour the sentiments of the indigenous people of the state.
Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi is likely to lead a protest against the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and Citizenship (Amendment) Act in Guwahati on December 28. As a part of the foundation day celebration of his party, Rahul will also address a public meeting at Khanapara ground in Guwahati. Gandhi is also likely to visit the residences of some of the youths who were killed during the anti-CAA protests held in Guwahati.
Participating in the rally, senior Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma vehemently criticised both the Congress and the Left parties for allegedly provoking the democratic protesters to gain their vested interests.
“No one will be spared. Each and every one involved in violent activities during the movement against the CAA stir will be arrested,” Sarma said.
He also criticised former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and former Assam chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta for amending the Citizenship Act in 1987.
“It’s really surprising that no one opposed the move made by Gandhi and Prafulla Kumar Mahanta in 1987. This opened the floodgates for the Bangladeshis to come to Assam. In 2014, former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi said that those people whose names have been featured in voter’s list should also be considered as genuine Indian citizens. It’s really unfortunate that no one even uttered a single word against such anti-nationals statements from Tarun Gogoi.
Senior Assam ministers, MLAs, MPs, senior leaders from both BJP and AGP also took part in the rally among many others, including Assam BJP president Ranjeet Kumar Dass.