Guwahati: BJP’s national vice-president and Assam in-charge Baijayant Jay Panda on Thursday said that BJP along with its allies will storm back to power in the state, riding on the strong pro-incumbency wave and that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) issue will not have any impact on the voters’ mind.
Talking exclusively to the United News of India, Panda who is looking after the party affairs in Assam for the last four months since his appointment as Assam in-charge in November, said that the people of the state will vote to keep in mind the development index of the ruling BJP government.
“Usually, a ruling government faces anti-incumbency during any elections, but in Assam, I have observed there is a strong pro-incumbency for the Sonowal government. All the surveys which are coming vindicate my point,” Panda said.
Moreover, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the last five years has visited the northeast on more than 50 occasions. There is a thrust on development. For instance, the variety of bridges over the river Brahmaputra, a variety of medical schools, 20,000 km of roads — this is far more than what was done in the last seven decades.
On the possible Chief Minister’s face of BJP, if the party is voted back to power, Panda said it will be decided after the results.
Showering praises on both chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and his deputy Himanta Biswa Sarma, Panda said, the talk of two power centres in BJP in Assam is the creation of the opposition Congress. Both Sonowal and Himanta are working in tandem for the development of the state.
On intra-party rebellion after the ticket distribution, Panda said look in every party this sort of disgruntlement takes place after the ticket distribution. But it was momentary. Everyone has realised that as a party BJP has to come back to power.
Dismissing that the CAA issue will have any impact on the polls, Panda blamed the opposition Congress for taking people for a ride by promising that the party will scrap the act, “ It’s an act of Parliament and will be implemented across the country after rules are being framed. Some court cases are going on, so when all these will get resolved it will be implemented at the right time,” Panda said adding that CAA is a central act that cannot be overturned by the state legislature.
Talking about another contentious issue, the National Register of Citizens (NRC), Panda said,” NRC is being prepared worldwide by various governments. In India it was Supreme Court-monitored process. However, there were some issues which cropped up, so we will push for an error-free NRC,” Panda said.
Talking about the Congress-AIUDF partnership in `Grand Alliance’, Panda said,” it’s an alliance of inconvenience. Look how in Upper Assam both the partners are maintaining a safe distance. Congress is not even taking the name of AIUDF in their campaign. The three-time Chief Minister of Congress late Tarun Gogoi never wanted to join hands with the Badruddin Ajmal led AIUDF, but only for vote bank politics Congress leadership has joined hands with the communal party which supports illegal migration in Assam”.
On a high polarization pitch during the election campaign, Panda blamed Congress for tying up with a communal party AIUDF which according to him was born for protecting the infiltrators from Bangladesh.
“After the IMDT act was scrapped, AIUDF was born on the premise that the party will protect illegal migrants and Congress has joined with them for securing vote bank of a particular community. So look who is polarising?,” Panda questioned adding that BJP’s poll strategy in Assam was designed based on three principles “Surakasha, Samriddhi and Sanskriti”.
Delving on the issue of the flood management in Assam and will centre declare Assam floods as a National Disaster, which is the long pending demand of the people of Assam, Panda said,” Look I come from the state of Orissa…where flood is a major problem. We will put in place an effective flood management system.” By Abhijit Deb