BJP sensed defeat as its ally promises to give jobs to surrendered ultras in army: Kharge

The ruling BJP has not announced its chief ministerial candidate before the polls
Last Updated : 27 March 2021, 15:23 IST

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The BJP-led alliance in Assam has already sensed defeat in the election and in a desperate bid, its constituent the United People's Party Liberal (UPPL), has promised that surrendered cadres of militant bodies will be provided with jobs in the army and paramilitary forces, senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge claimed on Saturday.

The saffron party has not named incumbent Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal as its CM face since the BJP is scared of being asked about promises its government did not fulfil in five years, claimed Kharge, the leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha.

The ruling BJP has not announced its chief ministerial candidate before the polls.

"The UPPL promised that jobs in the army and paramilitary forces will be provided to surrendered cadres of militant organisations. Since when can a state party promise jobs in the defence forces? It is a desperate attempt to misguide people for votes. Why is the BJP silent on this?" Kharge said at a press conference.

This indicates that the BJP has acceded defeat and is trying to save its face, he claimed on the first day of the three-phase polling in the state.

"People's strong support for the Congress' Five Guarantees that are visionary, realistic and deal with the core issues of Assam has forced the BJP to resort to desperate measures," Kharge said.

The Congress has gone to people with a vow to fulfil five guarantees — Rs 2,000 per month for every homemaker, law to nullify the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), five lakh government jobs in five years, 200 units of free electricity per month for all and an increase of the daily minimum wage of tea garden workers to Rs 365.

The five guarantees are going to be a gamechanger for the future of Assam and its people, Kharge asserted.

But the BJP is trying to run away from questions related to its performance in the last five years, he claimed.

The BJP is so scared of being asked about unfulfilled promises that "the incumbent chief minister has been missing from its core campaign", Kharge alleged, without naming Sonowal.

"Why wouldn't a party go into an election with the face of the incumbent CM? The Congress went with the late Tarun Gogoi in the last four elections because we could proudly showcase the work that his government had accomplished," he said.

The BJP's Assam unit president Ranjeet Kumar Dass said in early this month that the party will not announce the chief ministerial candidate before the polls and a decision in this regard will be taken by its Parliamentary Board at the time of forming the next government.

In 2016, the saffron party had projected the then union minister Sarbananda Sonowal as its chief ministerial face before the elections were held.

This election is about the guarantees of the Congress versus the unfulfilled promises of the BJP, and the result is clear to the entire state -- a landslide victory for the Congress, Kharge claimed.

Published 27 March 2021, 15:23 IST

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