Taking a dig at Congress general secretary for Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi’s visit to the tea gardens in poll-bound Assam and an attempt at plucking the leaves, BJP Assam chief Ranjit Dass on Friday said women working at tea gardens will vote for BJP government schemes and not for the stunt ahead of elections.
Recently, Ms Gandhi had visited the tea gardens in Assam and got photographed while plucking tea leaves with a basket on her head.
Responding to whether Congress will benefit from such visits in the elections, Mr Dass played down Ms Gandhi by comparing her with the benefits women workers are receiving from the BJP-ruled state and central governments.
“They are putting up foreign land tea gardens. In our tenure, pregnant women workers will get Rs 12,000 in their bank accounts and also they will get maternity leave for six months. So, will they look at Gandhi plucking tea leaves or look at Rs 12,000 while voting?” Mr Dass told ANI.
Mr Dass also credited the government for opening of bank accounts.
“Will they (women tea garden workers) look at Rs 5,000 that they get in their bank accounts or they look at five leaves plucked by Priyanka Gandhi,” he asked.
The tea garden tribe community comprises 17 per cent of the state’s population. A driving political force for more than 40 seats, all political parties are trying to woo this tribe ahead of polls.
The BJP had been critical of the Congress-ruled alliance that had put photographs from Taiwan instead of Assam in one of the political tweets by the party.
On Congress making a promise of 50 per cent job reservation in Assam, Dass said Congress always makes promises.
“During anti-CAA protests, they (Congress leaders) claimed that 1.50 crore people from outside will come and sell your lands and people will come from Bangladesh. Assamese saw no one came from Bangladesh. In fact, we stood first in the panchayat elections. Lakhs of Bangladeshis have encroached upon ethnic minority’s political rights during Congress regime,” Mr Dass added, claiming that people chose BJP and made it a winner in panchayat elections in support of Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.
“We won’t lose even a single seat because of CAA in fact we will win more seats,” said the BJP Assam president.
Mr Dass praised his government for the works, which were done in the past five years.
“In the word Assam, first A denotes achievement of the government and another A signifies activities of the party workers. Our online members are 42 lakhs and 1 lakh are offline. Panna pramukh are 60 lakhs and they are working door-to-door. The government has worked to build infrastructure. In five years of government, we had made 11 medical colleges including AIIMS. Border is sealed. Indigenous people have got land documents. So much work has been done. Assam will vote for development again,” added Mr Dass.
The Bharatiya Janata Party will announce the list of its candidates for the first and second phases of the Assam Assembly elections on Friday, said Mr Dass.
He also claimed that BJP and its allies would secure at least 100 seats out of a total of 126 seats in the state Legislative Assembly.
Assam Assembly elections will be held in three phases beginning from March 27 with the final round of voting taking place on April 6. The counting of votes in the state will take place on May 2.