JORHAT, March 20: Congress MLA from Mariani Rupjyoti Kurmi on Saturday took the bull by the horns challenging North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma to come to Mariani and show BJP’s actual strength in the constituency by holding an election rally here.
Addressing a rally at Mariani ahead of Rahul Gandhi, Kurmi said, “All BJP leaders may come here from Smriti Irani, Sarbananda Sonowal to Himanta Biswa Sarma but hardly 2000 people of Mariani constituency will turn up to hear them out. During Himanta Biswa Sarma’s meet here people were brought in from Titabar, Jorhat, Amguri and other places to make up for the numbers. Let him come here and hold a rally, not more than 2000 people will turn up,” he said adding that 15,000 had turned up voluntarily on Saturday and all were from Mariani.
Kurmi who has won the seat three times in a row and is seeking a mandate for the fourth time said that the BJP may bring in all the glamour of Bollywood – Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone and Sunny Leone but the people will not be bothered to listen to them also hitting out at their strategy to bring Mithun Chakravarty for campaigning.
Kurmi, twanging an emotional note, said that he had toiled hard for his constituents, worked side by side with them, and was always by their side in their sorrows. He said whether it was elephant depredations, a sickness in the family, floods, it was he who they had found by their side.
“I have helped out all those families who were in need whether it was with torches, or aid in cash or kind and it was I the people sought for help. I also donated blood 52 times. Where were the BJP leaders then,” he questioned.
Kurmi also hit out at the BJP selling off of public sites to industrialists at the cost of the poor.
“Mariani railway junction has been sold to Adani. From now on to eat a delicious dosa at the railway station for Rs 20 we will have to pay Rs 50 for a platform ticket first,” he said.
Calling the BJP leaders a bunch of liars, he said that their biggest lie is “Sab Ka Saath, Sab Ka Vikas.” Not once in the past five years did Himanta Biswa Sarma or Sarbananda Sonowal come here to lay the foundation stone of a project, road or infrastructure. They said that every two months a BJP leader would come and take stock of the situation here but not once have they come. Now it is not to be expected that the people here will vote for these outsiders and liars,” he said.
Kurmi also reeled off a list of work he had done in the constituency which included giving aids to temples, naamghars, churches, mosques and educational institutes.