Sonia blames BJP-AGP for infiltration problem

Guwahati: Hitting back at the BJP and the AGP, Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Friday charged these parties with failing to check infiltration or enacting laws for the welfare of the people in Assam during their tenure.

"I heard today and saw on TV that these parties have raised the Bangladeshi migrants problem as a poll issue. They are going from place to place talking about it," Gandhi told an assembly election rally here.

"But I want to ask them when their (BJP) government was in power at the Centre why did they not take any measure to stop infiltration even though our chief minister had raised the issue before the then union home minister. Do they now have any authority to raise a finger on us on the issue," she asked.

Gandhi asserted, "When the BJP government was in power at the Centre it never did anything for Assam. Now both our central and state governments have taken measures to stop infiltration from Bangladesh."

"During the earlier regime of AGP, the situation was such that nobody came out of their homes, nobody had time to think about development. Salaries were not paid on time to government employees and the government was burdened with loans as the exchequer became empty," she said.

"But the Congress government headed by Tarun Gogoi brought the state out of this mess and made a turnaround in its economy putting the state on the path of development. It is, therefore, our responsibility to continue this pace of development," she said.

"The schemes undertaken for employment, law and order, education, power and communication sectors must continue. The government has particularly fulfilled the dreams of the the poorer section giving free education to children up to 14 years," the UPA Chairperson said.

In Assam there has been inclusive development benefiting the poor, youth and women, Gandhi said adding, "We have introduced pension, insurance and health scheme and NREGA scheme assuring 100 days employment to the poor."

"To uphold unity and brotherhood, the Congress government has worked very hard in the last 10 years. When there is no peace in society it has a negative impact on development and people face hardship," she said.

"Recognise the face of those who make brothers to fight.

Give them a befitting reply," she appealed to the voters.

Dwelling on the heritage of Assam, Gandhi said it is the land of Sri Sri Sanker Deb and Ajaan Fakir, whose influence on the society is evident.

"Their contribution to social reforms, peace, language and culture have strengthened the state and ensured its development," she added.