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CAB, ‘divisive’ policy to hit BJP prospects: Gogoi
GUWAHATI: Former Assam chief minister, Tarun Gogoi has attributed the all-time high voter turnout in a parliamentary election in the state to the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) while alleging that the “divisive policy” of BJP also had its repercussions, prompting the electorate to come out in large numbers to the booths.
Assam recorded the highest ever polling percentage of 81.52 in the Lok Sabha elections this year, surpassing the previous highest figure of 80.12 per cent in 2014.
Addressing reporters here on Thursday, Gogoi said that the fact that the BJP government was intent on bringing the contentious legislation amid massive protests led many to turn up and vote (against BJP) this time.
“Besides, the divisive policy of BJP, whether it was regarding Hindus and Muslims, tribal and non-tribal, tea garden community and the others, led the conscious sections to vote against the party, which is a good sign,” he said.
Gogoi slammed the BJP leaders for not focusing on the real issues such as jobs to youths, income security to farmers, women empowerment and protection for small and medium industries.
Differentiating between asylum given to foreigners (like Dalai lama and Taslima Nasreen) and citizenship to nationals of other countries, the veteran Congress leader said that in case of asylum, people are confined to a particular place.
“If citizenship is given to foreigners, be it in the name of persecution, they are also given jobs and the right to contest (in elections) among other rights, which we are against,” Gogoi said.
Accusing the Sarbananda Sonwal-led government in the state as the most corrupt, the former chief minister alleged, “The chief minister’s office and departments such as health, finance, irrigation, and panchayat, have turned into corruption centres. They talk about allocation across sectors, but where is the development.”
He further lambasted the BJP leaders for spending exorbitant amounts on helicopter rides and the road shows during the poll campaigns.
Asked how many seats Congress would win in Assam, Gogoi said he was confident of the party bagging at least eight of the 14 seats.