BJP is weak, can’t fight the Lok Sabha elections without AGP, BPF: Gogoi

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‘BJP-RSS trying to finish AGP, planning to destroy the regional force’

HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, March 14: “BJP is weak. It cannot fight election without AGP,” senior Congress leader and former chief minister Tarun Gogoi said hitting out at the alliance of AGP and BJP here on Thursday.

“The BJP knows well that they cannot contest the Lok Sabha polls alone. That is the reason why they have adored the AGP once again despite slamming the party severely over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill,” Gogoi said addressing a press conference here on Thursday.

“The RSS and the BJP want to finish AGP. It is part of a conspiracy to destroy the regional force and unfortunately, they are seemingly successful in doing so,” Gogoi said adding that the BJP is even trying to gain political mileage using the martyrs.

“The power-starved AGP leaders have betrayed the people of Assam by forging an alliance with the BJP, a party which is pushing for the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016,” Gogoi said.

“The three ministers of the AGP failed to control their greed and hence decided to enter into alliance with the BJP. The decision to forge alliance with the BJP will affect the regional party negatively and it is harmful for the people of Assam,” Gogoi said.

The AGP had severed ties with the BJP-led government in January to protest the Centre’s decision to ensure the controversial bill’s passage in the Lok Sabha. The bill seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after six years of residence in India. The bill had triggered huge protests in the northeastern region as indigenous people feared that if enacted, the law would endanger their identity and livelihood.

Congress will get all the support due to its strong stand against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, Gogoi said, and hope to win at least 10 of 14 seats in upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

BJP government promised to secure ‘jati, mati and bheti’ was the BJP’s slogan during the 2016 Assam Assembly election, after which the Gogoi-led Congress government was ousted from power. Now people of Assam know that it was all a big lie and only Congress can save ‘jati-mati-bheti’, he added.

Lashing out at Modi on the previous poll promises, he asked, “Where is the black money that you promised to bring back? Where is the job that you promised the youth? And to deposit 15 lakh in every citizen’s account.”

Gogoi added that Modi popularity is going down, and Rahul Gandhi is rising. We have started our march against Congress today from Sabarmati Ashram, Gujarat from where Mahatma Gandhi began his Dandi March.

“BJP follows the ideology of German dictator Adolf Hitler,” he said and added, “Congress follows the ideologies and principles of Mahatma Gandhi. The wind is blowing in favour of Congress and the Lok Sabha election results will prove it.”

“The people of the state responded with ‘spontaneity and enthusiasm’ to Congress president Rahul Gandhi, which clearly indicates that the wind was blowing in favour of the Congress ahead of the Lok Sabha elections,” Gogoi justified his claim.

Refuting the allegations put forward by former DGP GM Srivastava that the Congress had come to the power in the 2001 assembly elections with the help of ULFA, Gogoi said that the party was always against militancy.

“If we had really taken the help of ULFA, then what was the ruling BJP doing at that time? Why they didn’t order a probe? I would say that the BJP along with AGP leader Prafulla Mahanta orchestrated the secret killings in Assam,” he added.

Gogoi also hit out at Meghalaya’s ruling National People’s Party (NPP), dubbing it as the BJP’s ‘B’ team.

“The NPP said it will put up candidates in all the 25 seats in northeast. What is he (NPP chief Conard Sangma) trying to do? This will only help the BJP by cutting some opposition votes,” he said.

When asked about alliance with AIUDF, Gogoi rejected the idea of an alliance with the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) said it is impossible to have any alliance with them for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Assam will go to polls in three phases on April 11, 18 and 23.

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