'Development is the only way forward': Amit Shah kickstarts BJP's Assembly poll campaign in Assam

Launching the BJP's Assembly poll campaign in Assam, Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday said development is the only way forward after many agitations in which "hundreds of youths were killed."

"In Assam, there was a period of movements. Many agitations were launched over different issues in which hundreds of youths were killed. The peace of Assam was disturbed amd the developed was halted," Shah said in Kamrup.

"What is the way forward? Development is the only way forward. Development is happening and will happen further. But ideological change is also needed and that can't happen only through development," the former BJP president added.

Invoking 16th century saint Acharya Sankardev, Shah said, "Congress didn't do anything for the birthplace of Acharya Sankardev whose contributions gave recognition to Assam's history, drama writing, arts and poetry. But BJP believes in strengthening of language, culture, arts of the states."

"BJP believes that India can not achieve greatness until the culture and language of states are strengthened. India's culture and arts are incomplete without Assamese culture and arts," he added.

The Kamrup rally is the BJP's formal launch of the party's campaign for next year's Assam assembly polls.

Shah arrived in Guwahati late Friday night and was received at the airport by Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Finance and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, BJP's National Vice-President Baijayant Jay Panda, who is also the Assam in-charge for the saffron party, state party President Ranjit Kumar Dass among other leaders.

Over 3,000 artists of various communities greeted Shah after he came out from the Gopinath Bordoloi International (LGBI) airport shortly after Friday midnight.

During his three day visit to Assam and Manipur, Shah would also meet allies of BJP in Assam including Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), Gana Shakti and Rabha Jatiya Aikya Manch.

Shah also distributed financial grants to 8,000 Namghars (traditional Vaishnavite monasteries of Assam) under the Assam Darshan Programme, and attended foundation laying ceremony of the New Medical College in Guwahati (the second medical college in the city) and 10 Law Colleges to be established across Assam.

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