BJP taking Assam back to path of violence: Rahul

BJP taking Assam back to path of violence: Rahul

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi. (PTI file photo)

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday charged that BJP was bringing violence back to Assam by destroying the Assam Accord, which was signed in 1985 during his father and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's tenure to solve the state's long foreigner issue. 

Addressing a rally against Narendra Modi government's Citizenship (Amendment) Act here, Rahul said the accord worked out by all with March 24, 1971, as the cut off established peace and pushed development in the state. "But today it scares me that Assam is witnessing violence again due to BJP's divisive policy. Assam Accord brought peace and hence it should not be destroyed. Not only in Assam, wherever BJP forms government, but they also spread hatred, anger and divides people. Youths were protesting in Assam (against CAA), why were they shot at? There are ways to talk to the protesters through peaceful means but they always choose hatred and anger," Rahul told a crowd which chanted Jai Aai Asom (Glory to mother Assam), the slogan used during the Assam Agitation or the anti-foreigners movement between 1979 and 1985.

Gandhi was referring to the killings of five persons in police firing during the anti-CAA protests in Guwahati. Security forces opened fire after a section of protesters set fire on vehicles, pelted stones and allegedly tried to destroy Assam Secretariat on December 11 and 12.

Indigenous communities in most parts of Assam and the rest of the Northeast fear that the CAA would reduce them into minorities and endanger their identity by giving citizenship to a large number of Hindu Bengali migrants, who had illegally migrated till December 2014. They demand that foreigners issue in Assam be addressed as per the Assam Accord, irrespective of religion and change in the cut-off date was unacceptable. 

Alleging that the Modi government destroyed the economy, Rahul asked why the PM was not talking about Make in India, how many people were given employment and how many factories set up. "BJP and Modi's target is to divide people, spread hatred and handover the money to a few big industrialists. They are trying to do so in Assam and the rest of the Northeast. But people here will protect their culture of unity in diversity, language, and unique history. Congress party will never allow BJP and RSS to attack the unique history, culture, and language of the people of the Northeast," Rahul said.

Rahul also visited family members of two youths, Sam Stafford and Dipanjal Das, who died in police firing during the anti-CAA protests.