Himanta has 'secret understanding' with Ajmal like BJP with Owaisi in Telangana: Priyanka

Priyanka Gandhi alleges "mafia raj" in Assam at election rally, accuses CM Himanta Biswa Sarma of being involved in multiple scams



Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday alleged that Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has a "secret understanding" with AIUDF (All India United Democratic Front) chief Badruddin Ajmal, just as the BJP has one with AIMIM (All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen) leader Asaduddin Owaisi in Telangana, both aimed at defeating the grand old party.

Addressing an election rally at Balajan in the state's Dhubri district, Priyanka alleged that "mafia raj" prevails in Assam, and charged the CM with being involved in multiple scams in the state.

She also hit out at the BJP on the sexual abuse allegations against outgoing Karnataka MP and the BJP-led NDA alliance candidate Prajwal Revanna, saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought votes for him and did not stop him from leaving the country.

Priyanka was campaigning for Congress MLA Rakibul Hussain, who is contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Dhubri, a bastion of the AIUDF, locked in a triangular contest with sitting MP Ajmal and BJP-backed AGP candidate Zabed Islam, a former MLA.

"The BJP and AIUDF have taken local politics in a different direction. Both parties have a secret understanding. The Assam CM, in an interview, said Badruddin wanted him to be the CM from his heart," she said. "They did the same thing in Telangana by allying with Owaisi so that they could divide Congress votes. Wherever we are strong, Badruddin has put up AIUDF candidates only because he wants the BJP to win."

The Congress general-secretary also questioned if any developmental work has been done by Ajmal in Dhubri despite being a Lok Sabha MP for three terms. "He (Ajmal) himself says he is a businessman. He is doing only business with you, not politics and service. Wherever he is seeing profit, he is going there," Priyanka said, accusing Sarma of favouring Ajmal's perfume business by tweaking state policies.

"Both PM Narendra Modi and Himanta are running governments for billionaires. Modi, Himanta, Badruddin Ajmal — all are the same. They want elections to be fought on any issue other than people's issues," she claimed.

Lashing out at the BJP-led government in the state on the law and order situation, Priyanka said, "There is mafia raj in Assam. Mafia are operating in land, supari (betelnut), sand, coal and various other sectors. There is extortion everywhere."

All types of scams related to farmers' assets, PPE kits and flyovers, among others, are continuing along with unabated cow smuggling, but development is not happening in the state, she added.

Priyanka also said there were big allegations against Sarma when he was with the Congress, but he got himself "cleaned" in the "BJP washing machine" after switching sides. She said rising unemployment is a major issue in Assam, but "the CM and his ministers are concerned only about their own interests".

Raising the issue of women's safety, the Congress leader said the PM was silent when the wife of an Army veteran was paraded naked in Manipur, and medal-winning women wrestlers alleged sexual abuse by a BJP MP.

"He talks about women's safety, but what is happening in Karnataka? Thousands of videos emerged of a candidate, who is the BJP's ally. The PM shared the dais with the Karnataka sex scandal accused. Later, he fled India, but Modi and Amit Shah didn't stop him," she alleged, also mentioning the Hathras and Unnao gang rape cases.

Priyanka stated that the Congress fully supports the ST status demand by the Koch-Rajbongshi community, which is why a caste census will be conducted so that deprived communities can be given due opportunities once the INDIA alliance government comes to power.

The Congress leader also attacked the BJP on the electoral bonds issue and dubbed it a "corruption scheme" launched by Modi. "The BJP became the world's richest party in just 10 years, but the Congress didn't earn so much in 70 years... Covid vaccine maker gave chanda (funds) to the BJP, and now a report emerges that people may fall ill due to that vaccine," she added.

She claimed that PM Modi was far away from the reality of the common people and had no understanding of their miseries as he had become egoistic. "Modi is seen travelling around different countries across the world, but he has never visited anyone's house in India," Priyanka said.

She claimed that only BJP leaders and their billionaire friends have progressed in the last 10 years of NDA rule, while the country's progress for common people has stopped.

"His ministers are announcing in villages and towns that the Constitution will be changed if the NDA comes to power this time. This Constitution gives you the right to vote and it makes all of us equal. The Constitution protects us and it corrects anything wrong," Priyanka said.

She also alleged that PM Modi wants every election to be fought on religious lines. "The Congress brought green revolution and white (milk) revolution, while the BJP brought hatred revolution to India," Priyanka claimed.

She also said the BJP-led NDA government is trying to weaken the media, the Election Commission, and other institutions established to protect democracy with the "absolute power" that it has got. "Elected governments are brought down by money and muscle power. The present government has left the path of truth," she said.

Priyanka also attacked Modi over his mangalsutra comment and said the Congress never did anything to snatch properties of people in 55 years of its rule since Independence.

Before her address, Priyanka and Hussain went around the venue, waving to the crowds from an SUV.

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