Former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi on Sunday launched a scathing attack against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said that while the PM often calls him a ‘chaiwala’, his government fails to ensure Rs. 350 as minimum wage for the tea garden workers in Assam.
Gogoi’s reaction came a day after Prime Minister Modi addressed two rallies in tea garden dominated Dibrugarh and Biswanath districts of Assam on Saturday.
Modi had stated only a ‘chaiwala’ can understand the pains of ‘chaiwala’(meaning those associated with the tea production).
“The BJP had assured to ensure the minimum wage for the tea garden workers of Assam. However, they forgot about it in the last five years. Now that the elections are on they have remembered the tea garden workers,” Modi said adding that the BJP government at the Centre and the state have also not done anything to grant ST status to six communities including the Tai Ahom, Moran, Matak, Koch Rajbongshi, Chutia and the tea community.
Gogoi further said that the PM has failed to deliver in the last five years and is approaching the people with a new drama. “They assured of 2 crore job creation. Forget job creation, four crores have lost jobs in India in the last five years. In Assam, two of the paper mills have been closed down during their tenure,” said Gogoi.
“The Prime Minister had earlier assured that all the illegal Bangladeshis would have to leave the state after May 16, 2014. But nothing happened in the last five years and the BJP did not see a single Bangladeshi in last five years in Assam. Now that the election is coming, Modi has woken up and seeing Bangladeshis. He has asked for another five years to deport the Bangladeshis,” said Gogoi.
Objecting to the ‘chowkidar’ campaign of the BJP, Gogoi said, “I don’t want my Prime Minister to be a chowkidar. If the Prime Minister is a chowkidar, why do we need the police, CBI, Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax?,” he said.
“How can the BJP become the richest party? The chowkidar must be a chor as the party has become the richest party — they have proved it. Otherwise, how can they build such a huge office,” he added.
Gogoi also refuted any tacit understanding with the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) and said that while Himanta Biswa Sarma is the ‘chota bhai’ of AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the ‘bara bhai’ of Ajmal.
BJP national general secretary and in-charge of the Northeast, Ram Madhav recently alleged that the Congress does not have the courage to face the polls alone and that it had entered into a ‘unholy nexus’ with the AIUDF ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
The BJP has also alleged that the Congress is fielding weak candidates in Dhubri and Barpeta Lok Sabha constituencies so as to ensure victory of Tarun Gogoi’s son Gaurav Gogoi in Kaliabar parliamentary constituency.