Gandhi braved a boycott call by a militant outfit and addressed rallies at Biswanath Chariali town in the Tezpur parliamentary constituency and in Dibrugarh.
A National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) faction opposed to peace talks in a statement to the media had threatened to disrupt the Congress leader’s rallies.
Gandhi lashed out at the Bharatiya Janata Party and its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and his Gujarat model of development.
“BJP leaders often speak about the Gujarat model. But in Assam, we don’t need the Gujarat model of development. We have the Assam model here. Assam has produced the highest quantity of rice in the state last year, this is the Assam model of development,” he said.
The Gujarat model should not be applied everywhere, he said.
“Each state has its own model of development. It has got its own history, knowledge, and a distinct thought. The same model does not work everywhere,” he said at Biswanath Chariali.
“There is no shortage of anything in Assam. If Assam has to prosper, it has to follow its own model using all its resources,” he added.
Gandhi hailed the development work initiated by the Congress government in Assam and said the situation has improved since Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi took charge.
“There was violence in Assam earlier. The government under the leadership of Tarun Gogoi proved that violence can be removed only by love. India must learn this from Assam,” he said.
He took a dig at the “India Shining” campaign of the BJP in 2004 and said it was a “hot air balloon” that was burst by people. “The same is going to happen this year.”
“The Congress is not a party, it’s a thought. It believes in politics of love, unity and peace which was evident in Assam which witnessed violence, insurgency and no peace or development for several years,” he said.
He said that in the past 10 years, Assam has built 22,700 km of roads and over 3,500 bridges, including three over the Brahmaputra river.
“We established six autonomous councils and 18 development councils and all these were done to give power to the people. We gave IIT, IIIT, NIT, NID, TISS, two central universities, three medical colleges and over 50 skill development centres to the state in the last 10 years,” Gandhi said.