Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday virtually addressed a rally in Dibrugarh, wherein he asserted that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will win more than 300 Lok Sabha seats across the country in the upcoming 2024 general elections, and return to power for the third consecutive term with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the helm.
After laying the foundation stone for a BJP’s zonal office for Upper Assam, Shah exuded confidence that the saffron party will win 12 out of the 14 Lok Sabha seats in the northeastern state of Assam.
Attacking the Congress party for its poor performance in the three states – Meghalaya, Tripura, and Nagaland – in the region, Shah said, “Northeast was once considered a fortress of the (Congress) party but despite Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, the party failed to perform well in the recent assembly elections.”
Notably, in the recently held assembly elections in the three states, the BJP formed the government in Tripura and came into power as alliance partners in the other two states.
Shah, who arrived Dibrugarh from neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh, also spoke about Gandhi’s controversial remarks on India’s democracy during his visit to the United Kingdom. “He (Rahul Gandhi) insulted India on foreign soil. If he continues defaming the country and the government by peddling lies, Congress will be white-washed from the entire country after being shown the door in the Northeast,” added Shah. Upon Gandhi’s ‘Kabr Kudegi’ remark at PM Modi, Shah said, “The more they (Congress) badmouth the PM, the more BJP will grow.”
In his address, Shah also spoke about the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 or AFSPA which confers vast powers to the armed forces deployed in “disturbed areas” in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Tripura.
Shah said the AFSPA act has been removed from 70 percent of the area in Assam, while Bodoland and Karbi Anglong areas are peaceful, and the state’s border disputes with its neighboring provinces are being resolved.
“Earlier, Assam was known for ‘andolan’ (agitation) and ‘aatankwad’ (terrorism) but now there is peace and people are dancing to the beats of Bihu music,” Shah said referring to an upcoming mega event, which will be held in Guwahati on April 14, with over 11,000 dancers performing in the presence of PM Modi.
Shah also highlighted the achievements of Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, and praised his schemes and policies for the state’s development. Sarma became the 15th Chief Minister of the state in May 2021.
Shah was on a two-day trip to the northeast where he visited Kibithoo in Arunachal Pradesh on Monday and launched the Vibrant Village Programme meant for the development of border villages.
With a greater majority of 303 seats compared to the Congress’s 54, the BJP took back power in 2019. The BJP passed the halfway point of 272 seats on its alone for the first time in three decades in 2014.