Assam Congress leader Pradyut Bordoloi

The Congress on January 24 accused the BJP of trying to destroy the “liberal Assamese identity” through various designs and schemes, including the Citizenship Amendment Act and Hindutva politics.

The Assam Kaziranga University admissions

Senior Congress leader Pradyut Bordoloi said that the RSS and its affiliates are trying to intensify their presence in the Northeast region and destroy the Assamese identity.

“Our identity would defeat them. Our Hindutva, our Hinduism is egalitarian, liberal and accommodative. We assimilated all. Now there is a threat perception,” Bordoloi told the media in Guwahati in wake of Union home minister Amit Shah’s criticism of Congress for forging electoral alliance with the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), a Muslim-based party.

“Our Hindutva was moulded by great Assamese social reformer Srimanta Sankardev,” he said.

Congress, BJP focus on Sankardev’s ideology

Both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the opposition Congress ahead of the April-May assembly election are focussing on the ideology and thoughts of Sankardev, a 15th-16th century Assamese polymath, a saint-scholar, poet, playwright, social-religious reformer.

Saying Shah represents the “imperialistic design” of the BJP, Bordoloi alleged that the BJP is trying to rename schools and colleges in the state after RSS leaders such as Deen Dayal Upadhyay instead of Assamese freedom fighters.

He said that Shah and prime minister Narendra Modi have falsely claimed that they have ensured peace and stability in Assam by curbing insurgency.

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“Everyone knows that the Congress government has taken a holistic approach resulting in the laying down of arms and ammunition by the militants and they shunning the path of violence. The Congress governments, both at the Centre and the state, had taken schemes to rehabilitate many ULFA leaders and cadres,” the former Assam minister said.

He said that the construction of the Bogibeel rail-cum-road bridge, inaugurated by Modi in 2018, had started in 2011, when Congress was in government both in Assam and the Centre and 95 per cent of the work was completed by 2016 when the BJP came to power in the state.

The senior Assam leader also charged the BJP with also failing to keep its assurance of recognising six major tribes as Scheduled Tribe even after repeatedly promising this.

“The North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy and special status for the Northeast states, approved by the erstwhile Congress government, were withdrawn and grants-in-aid to Assam reduced by the BJP-led government at the Centre,” he said.

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