TINSUKIA: Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a blistering attack on the Congress "for the damage they had perpetrated to the Tea industry in Assam during its 50 years of governance".
Addressing a mammoth gathering at the Janamukh Field near Borguri on the outskirts of Tinsukia under Chabua LAC (Legislative Assembly Constituency), Modi alleged that the Congress joined hands with conspirators to erase the Tea sector from the global scenario. He said that the Congress failed to develop the Tea industry in Assam during its successive terms in the State.
"The people of Assam will never forgive the Congress as they played with the sentiments and livelihood of millions of tea workers", he said, adding, "The conspiracy that was hatched internationally to defame Assam tea and its farmers through a Toolkit was supported by the Congress."
He further said, "The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government is committed to increase the wages of tea garden workers. A package of Rs 1,000 crore has been announced for the tea-garden workers. More than 125 schools have been opened in and around the tea-garden areas and welfare schemes were undertaken for the pregnant women and their children. The Tea industry in Assam is playing a pivotal role in making an 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat'."
The Prime Minister added, "Tea is ingrained in the name of Chabua and we all know how the fragrance and flavour of its tea has spread globally.'
Recalling with salutation the contributions of social reformers and freedom fighters of Assam like Swargadeo Chaulung Sukafa, Mottock king Sarbananda Singha, Vir Raghav Moran, Ruchi Das Tanti, and Santosh Topno among others, Modi said that they showed the path of glory to people of India and Assam in particular.
On the Congress-led alliance, the Prime Minister said, "It was unfortunate that the Congress has forged an alliance with a political party which is a potential threat to the culture of Assam," he said, adding, "The NDA is committed to uplift all sections of people — be it the youths or the women. Our 'double-engine' government at the Centre and the State of Assam will further foster holistic development in the State."
He pointed out, "The waterways were always the strength of Assam which the Congress never explored; but it was the NDA Government that completed all the projects like the rail-road Bogibeel Bridge, and the Dhola-Sadiya Bridge within four years. What the NDA and the Sonowal Government had achieved in the last five years, the Congress is now attempting to capitalise through the means of falsehood."
The recently constituted Mottok and Moran Autonomous Council would immensely benefit the local populace, he said, adding, "The mantra of 'Be vocal for local' will boost the self-dependency besides facilitating job opportunities."
The Prime Minister further said that with the setting up of a large number of educational institutions and several other steps in the sector, the north-eastern region would be made a hub of higher education.
The Prime Minister also said that Assam has the potential to become India's organic hub. Now farmers in Assam can directly export their produce globally. Through the Kisan Rails, crops, fruits and fish can be supplied anywhere in the country. This is how the NDA government is empowering the farmers in the country."
Earlier, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal welcomed the Prime Minister and introduced the BJP candidates of Tinsukia and Dibrugarh districts.
IANS ADDS: BJP sources said Modi is scheduled to visit Assam several times to campaign for the party till April 3.
The 126-member Assam Assembly polls would be held in three phases. In the first phase on March 27, elections would be held in 47 constituencies, while in the second phase on April 1, polling would take place for 39 seats. In the last and third phase on April 6, elections would be held for the remaining 40 constituencies. The results would be declared on May 2.