The BJP lashed out at the Congress’s contradictions with its alliance partners in poll-bound assemblies. The Congress hit back by pointing at the BJP’s “conflicting” stands on Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in West Bengal and Assam.
Addressing an election rally in Bokakhat in Assam on May 21, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the BJP-led NDA government was moving forward by following the principle of ‘Sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas’. But the Congress leaders, he said, were interested only in grabbing power by any means.
“The fact is that the coffers of the Congress have dried up. To fill them up, they need power at any cost. Only chair is Congress’s friend. They do not have vision, resolve or intention to do anything,” Modi said.
The PM pointed out that the parties which are the Congress’s alliance partners in Jharkhand, Bihar and Maharashtra are campaigning against it in West Bengal.
Though Modi did not name the parties, he was obviously referring to the ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) in Jharkhand, Lalu Prasad-led Rashtriya Janata al (RJD) in Bihar and the ruling Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, all three of which have lent their support to Mamata Banerjee-headed ruling TMC in West Bengal.
The PM then turned to the Congress’s political equations with the Left to buttress his point. He said, “The Congress hurls abuses at the Left in Kerala but has embraced it in West Bengal in its bid to grab power.”
In Kerala, the main opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) and the ruling CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) are in direct contest in most of the seats. The two alliances have been winning elections alternately since the 1980s.
However, the Congress and the Left have joined hands in West Bengal and Assam.
The PM hit out at the Congress over the latter’s secular claims. “The Congress calls itself a secular party but it has joined hands in Assam, West Bengal and Kerala with parties which were formed on the basis of religion.”
Speaking in Bokakhat. Overwhelming support for NDA! https://t.co/iP7tgplDXM
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) 1616308600000
PM Modi did not name the parties but his alluded to the Congress’s alliance partners such as the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) in Kerala, Furfura Sharif shrine chief Pirzada Abbas Siddiqui-led Indian Secular Front (ISF) in West Bengal and Lok Sabha MP Maulana Badruddin Ajmal-led All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) in Assam.
The prime minister said these were the reasons why the people did not trust the Congress.
Union home minister Amit Shah too has been coming down heavily on the Congress in his election rallies. In several election meetings, he said, “The Congress is contesting against the Left in Kerala but does ‘Ilu Ilu’ (I love you) in West Bengal and Assam.”
On the other hand, the Congress has sought to highlight the BJP’s “double standards” over the issue of CAA in West Bengal and Assam.
Speaking in an election meeting, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said, “The BJP has been screaming that it would implement CAA in West Bengal but is silent about it in Assam.”
The BJP’s manifesto for West Bengal promises implementation of CAA in the state while it has omitted the contentious issue in its manifesto released for Assam.
The people of West Bengal have welcomed CAA. However, the Assamese in general are protesting implementation of CAA in their state as they are against the settlement of any community – be it Bangladeshi Muslim infiltrators or Hindu, Sikh, Christian and Parsi illegal immigrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
In view of the opposition, the BJP has downplayed the issue. However, the Congress has tried to focus this contradiction.