Modi govt attacking every N-E state by imposing 'Nagpur ideology': Rahul Gandhi
Guwahati, Feb 26: Congress president Rahul Gandhi Tuesday alleged the Narendra Modi government is "attacking" every north-eastern state by imposing "Nagpur ideology" there and said his party will protect the culture, history and language of the region if voted to power.
He also lauded the Indian Air Force (IAF) for the early morning air strikes a terror camp inside Pakistan.
Kicking off his party's election campaign in Assam at a public rally here, Gandhi also made a series of promises for the region and hit out at the ruling BJP government on various fronts and said the Congress wants to fight "the BJP-RSS ideology of hatred and violence" with its own "ideology of tolerance and love".
Assam has 14 Lok Sabha seats. In 2014, the Congress won just three seats, while the BJP had bagged seven seats.
"The BJP-RSS ideology is burning every state in North East. They are attacking your lifestyle, culture, language and history. They want to impose the Nagpur culture on you," he alleged.
He also referred to ongoing disturbances in Arunachal Pradesh over granting Permanent Residence Certificate (PRC) to non-natives and massive protests against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill across the north-east region as attack on indigenous identities of these states.
"Listen Narendra Modi 'Chowkidar' (watchman, a moniker the Congress chief often uses for the prime minister) and Mohan Bhagwat (RSS chief), the Congress party will not allow this attack. We will save the culture and identity and give a befitting reply," Gandhi said.
He said he was confident that his party will come to power at centre and protect the interests of the region.
Gandhi alleged the incidents of two youths being shot at in Arunachal Pradesh, Jats fighting with non-Jats in Haryana, people from UP and Bihar being chased in Maharashtra, north-easterners being threatened in Delhi and women being attacked in Bengaluru are examples of the BJP-RSS ideology of hatred.
There was no immediate reaction from the BJP on the allegations.
"Today in India, a fight is going on between two ideologies. One is the Narendra Modi ideology of violence. Another is the Congress ideology of tolerance and love. BJP is imposing ideology of Nagpur, but the Congress knows how to defeat BJP-RSS ," the Congress president said.
"BJP wants every state to burn over some issues so that only 15-20 corporates, including Anil Ambani, get all the benefits," he alleged.
Gandhi has been accusing the Modi government of giving undue benefits to Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group in the Rafale fighter jet deal. The government as well as Reliance Group have rejected the allegations.
"Across Assam and India, farmers are crying. In Assam, lakhs of students take loan for studies. The Modi government waived Rs 3.5 lakh crore loans of the big corporate, but not the loans of students and farmers," he said mentioning the names of Anil Ambani, Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Lalit Modi.
He also said the Congress, if voted to power, will implement a 'Minimum Income Guarantee' to all poor people in the country and deposit an amount to their bank accounts.
He cited the example of Congress governments at Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and said all poll promises, including farm loan waiver, are being fulfilled after coming to power in those states.
Gandhi slammed the BJP government for what he called "snatching" of 'special status' from Assam and promised to restore the same as soon as the Congress comes to power.
"Jobs are the biggest problem in India. Whenever I go somewhere and ask the youth what do they do, they reply that they do nothing," he said and promised to bring back the defunct NEIIPP (North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy (India) to create jobs in the region.
"One after another, BJP snatched all rights of the north-east people. We'll do everything to restore those. We'll open the Jagiroad and Cachar paper mills," he assured.
Besides, Gandhi said, solving the flood problem of the state will be a "national commitment" for the Congress party.
He also promised to provide "quality education" to students so that the young generation do not leave the state for pursuing their academic career.
Expressing grief over the hooch tragedy in Assam's tea belt, the Congress President said: "Narendra Modi made big announcements for tea gardens, but did nothing. We will guarantee minimum wage to every tea garden workers."
On the NRC (National Register of Citizens) issue, he said all genuine Indians will be protected and none will be left out from the final document.
Talking about the Congress's role in preventing the Centre from tabling the Citizenship Bill in Rajya Sabha, Gandhi said: "It's an anti-North East bill. It's against the culture, language and history of the region. We are with you in this fight."
"All the states are important for us. Different language, identities make India. All people should get place in India and progress together," he said.