Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addressing an anti-CAA rally 'Ashtitwa Rakhyar Samabekh' in Guwahati, Assam on December 28, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
Accusing the BJP of spreading hate, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday said his party would ensure Assam was run not from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) headquarters at Nagpur but by the people of the state.
Addressing the Congress' "Save Constitution-Save India" rally here, Gandhi took on the BJP governments at the Centre and in the state for firing on youths protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and said the spirit of the Assam Accord should not be diluted.
"Wherever the BJP goes, it spreads hate. BJP doesn't want to listen to the voice of the people," he said in his first visit to the state after the recent violent protests against the CAA.
He came down heavily on the BJP and the RSS, saying they won't be allowed to "attack Assam's history, culture and language".
"Nagpur will not run Assam. The RSS chaddiwalahs will not run Assam. Assam will be run by the people of Assam from here," he said, to tumultuous applause from the large crowd.
Gandhi warned that if any ruler felt he can "control and finish off" the language, history, and culture of the northeast (India) in only two minutes, "I will say they have no idea about you, they have no idea about the northeast".
He sharply criticised the BJP for the fatal shooting of protesting youths in Assam and other parts of the country.
"In Assam, youth is protesting, in other states, protests are happening as well. Why do you have to shoot and kill them? What is the need to shoot the protesting youth? Why kill people who are protesting peacefully?" he asked.
Gandhi said the country's youth are angry as they have to roam around looking for jobs with the BJP-led NDA government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi "destroying" the nation's economy.
"Why are the youth of India angry? BJP has destroyed the country's economy. Prime Minister Modi has destroyed India with GST, demonetisation," he said.
He said Modi's only job is to "divide the country".
"Modi had promised 2 lakh jobs. Today the youth roam about looking for jobs," he said.
Iterating that Assam got peace because of the Assam Accord of 1985, he said: "Assam is returning to the path of violence due to the policies of BJP governments, both in the state and at the Centre. The spirit of the Assam Accord should not be diluted".
Gandhi also visited the residence of Sam Stafford, who lost his life during anti-CAA protests.
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