Gogoi dares Sonowal for open debate on corruption, graft

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Control of the RSS over the BJP is gradually decreasing, says ex-Assam CM

HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, April 13:Senior Congress leader and former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi Saturday invited his successor Sarbananda Sonowal to a debate on the issue of corruption.

Addressing a press conference here, Gogoi said, “I challenge Sonowal to sit with me and debate on the issue of corruption. He is travelling in helicopters to campaign for Lok Sabha. This proves the level of corruption going on in the present government.”

He added, “The Bharatiya Janata Party is a party of corrupt leaders. They have destroyed the environment of politics in Assam.  Ministers like Atul Bora and Keshab Mahanta can do anything for power. They have betrayed their motherland for power.”

Gogoi also slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi by stating that the BJP is committed to passing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 once the NDA returns to power after the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. The BJP manifesto also mentions that the party will try to revive the Bill.

“We will not let allow the passage of the Bill which will destroy the indigenous people in their own state. Congress will scrap the Bill, if voted to power,” he said.

The Citizenship Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2016 to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955. The Bill amends the Citizenship Act, 1955 to make illegal migrants who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, eligible for citizenship. In other words, it amends the Citizenship Act of 1955. The Bill lapsed in February after it failed to make it to the Rajya Sabha.

Gogoi said the “control of the RSS” over the BJP is gradually decreasing due to the “one man show” of Prime Minister Modi.

Alleging various violations of the model code of conduct, the senior Congress leader also said the Election Commission is not functioning effectively in having a free and fair polling.

“It is well known that the RSS has a control over the BJP, but we are seeing that slowly it is decreasing, mainly because of the one man show of Modi,” Gogoi told a press conference here.

Leaders of the saffron party nowadays do not say “BJP government”, but use the phrase “Modi government”, in an attempt to give an impression that only he is running the government, he said.

Gogoi also mocked Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for dancing during election campaigns. “Himanta is dancing these days to woo voters but his dream will not come true. Even if he dances for the entire day, the BJP will not win this Lok Sabha elections,” the former Assam chief minister said.


Cong will win all 5 1st phase seats: Harish Rawat

The opposition Congress on Saturday claimed that the party would make a clean sweep and win all the five seats of the State which went to the polls in the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections.

Congress in-charge for Assam Harish Rawat was optimistic that the Congress had put up a good show in the five constituencies.

He claimed that the electorate of Assam become disillusioned with the Modi government. “The government has failed to perform. It failed to fulfil any of the commitments it made,” said Rawat.

In the last parliamentary elections held in 2014, the BJP had emerged victorious from Lakhimpur, Tezpur, Dibrugarh and Jorhat constituencies, while the Kaliabor seat had gone to the Congress.

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