Gohpur/Bihpuria (Assam), Feb 15: Launching the Congress poll campaign in Assam, party vice president Rahul Gandhi on Monday accused the BJP of spreading violence and hatred, and urged people to vote for the Congress for peace and progress.
Gandhi arrived in Assam on Monday on a two-day visit and headed straight to Gohpur in Sonitpur district, where he addressed party workers.
He then went to Bihpuria in Lakhimpur district to address a conclave of women workers of the party.
Gandhi was accompanied by party observer for Assam C.P. Joshi, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, Assam Congress president Anjan Dutta and many other leaders.
"The Congress is trying to bring peace and progress to Assam. I hope you all remember what was the situation here 15 years back. People were scared to go out of their house and there was insecurity and hopelessness. However, the Congress government in Assam brought peace and development," Gandhi told party workers at Bihpuria.
"This is the difference between the Congress and the BJP. While we work for peace, the BJP wants to spread violence and destroy the brotherhood between communities.
"They want to make Hindus fight against Muslims. You can see Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Haryana... wherever they (BJP) went, they triggered clashes between communities by spreading hatred.
Taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gandhi said: "In Bihar, he (Modi) went ahead of the polls and made Hindus fight against Muslims.
"He thought by making Hindus and Muslims fight against each other, he would win the polls. However, Lalu ji, Nitish ji and the Congress joined hands and spread brotherhood and harmony among the community and won the elections. The same will be repeated here," said Gandhi.
The Congress leader appreciated the role played by freedom fighters and martyrs of Assam like Kanaklata Baruah and Bhogeswari Phukanani.
He said that if Assam has progressed today, it was due to the role played by women martyrs.
"No society can progress without women. The empowerment of women is an agenda for the Congress and wherever there is a Congress government, we have always tried to prioritise women empowerment," he said.
Gandhi said Modi only gives assurances but never fulfills them.
"I remember before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Modi ji came to Assam and assured that Rs.15 lakh will be deposited in each Indian's bank account. Is there anyone sitting here today who has received Rs.15 lakh in his account?" he asked.
He said the erstwhile Congress government at the Centre accorded special category state status to Assam.
"Crores of rupees were sent to Assam under the special category for its development, which benefitted people. However, when Modi ji became prime minister, the first thing he did was to withdraw the special category status from Assam.
"Modi ji not only failed to fulfill his promises but snatched away what the Congress government had given to Assam," he said.