GUWAHATI, March 23 - The ruling BJP will contest the forthcoming General Elections with ‘development’ as the main poll plank. The party is confident of doing extremely well in Assam, notwithstanding the heat generated across the State during recent months over the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
Senior leaders of the saffron party told this newspaper that they will seek support from the electorate by highlighting various ‘developmental’ schemes undertaken by the Narendra Modi government during the past five years.
“For us, the main issue is development. We are fighting the polls to ensure that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is re-elected for another term and continues to steer our country. Our major agenda is to build a developed India, a corruption-free nation and a Congress-mukt India,” State BJP general secretary Dilip Saikia told The Assam Tribune.
He said the saffron party will also highlight various State-specific issues during its poll campaign in Assam.
“In Assam, our main agenda will be identity and security of Indian citizens, especially the people belonging to the indigenous communities. The programmes and policies undertaken by the BJP-led dispensations at the Centre and State level have clearly demonstrated our party’s commitment to the cause of the indigenous people of Assam. We are certain that the work undertaken so far will help us in securing the support of the electorate for another term in office,” Saikia said.
The BJP leader added that the party remains committed to finishing various tasks undertaken by the Modi government during the last five years on a “war-footing”.
Saikia, who is himself the BJP nominee from Mangaldai constituency, claimed that the controversy regarding the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill-2016, will have no impact on the party’s prospects in the coming election. He exuded confidence that the BJP-AGP-BPF coalition will sweep the polls in Assam.
“Development will be our primary issue. Secondly, we will seek the electorate’s support for another term for Narendra Modi as the country’s Prime Minister,” State BJP general secretary Pulok Gohain said.
He added, “The various social welfare schemes undertaken by the NDA government at the Centre during the last five years, besides the Sarbananda Sonowal-led government in the State over the past three years, have been very successful. It has led to a stage where common people have started having faith in our party’s ability to perform and deliver. People know that BJP can get things done. And so our agenda of development is a sure winner.”
Gohain claimed that welfare schemes of the BJP-led regime have benefited the intended beneficiaries.
“The implementation of projects has been totally transparent. There is no mismanagement or corruption. During the time of the previous government, people had to pay bribes in order to get houses under the Indira Awas Yojana (IAY).
Now, under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), which was launched by our government, the funds are getting directly transferred to the beneficiaries. The results are there for everyone to see,” he said.
Gohain added, “Take the example of the tea community of Assam. For decades the Congress party had taken them for granted and treated members of the community merely as its ‘vote bank’.
In contrast, since the Modi government took charge, schemes have been launched by targeting students, youth, women and other categories of tea community members which have brought huge changes in their lives. Due to that, the support base of our party has increased substantially among members of the tea community, as demonstrated by the results of last year’s panchayat polls,” Gohain said.
The senior BJP leader added that the party’s election campaign across Assam will pick up momentum in the coming days.
BJP is contesting 10 out of the 14 Lok Sabha seats from Assam this time. It has left three constituencies for the AGP and one to the BPF.
The saffron party had contested the 2014 parliamentary polls on its own in Assam and emerged victorious in seven constituencies.