Amit Shah speaking at a rally in Assam's Nagaon
Amit Shah speaking at a rally in Assam's Nagaon

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday lauded the "great contributions" made by former Assam Chief Minister and late Congress leader Tarun Gogoi in the state as camoaigned for the BJP ahead of state elections.

"Tarun Gogoi had also made great contributions. He was given Padma Bhushan in the regime of PM Narendra Modi," Shah said at a rally in Nagaon.

Despite his high praise for Gogoi, Shah was unforgiving to the Congress and alleged that the opposition party has joined forces with Badruddin Ajmal's AIUDF because of its "lust for power".

"The Congress' "greed" to capture power in the state will remain unfulfilled and the BJP along with its ally Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), which symbolises Assamese identity, will win the assembly polls with a two-thirds majority," Shah said at the rally.

"Congress has a system, they're seen only when elections approach. They keep roaming in lanes of Delhi, they are seen only during elections and they have done this again. Something unique is being seen now, Congress had fired bullets on the youth of Assam during Assam Movement," he said.

"To make Congress win, agitators are contesting under different names to cut into BJP's votes. Their aim is to make Congress win. Everyone knows that they can't form govt, they themselves know it but it's sad that they're trying to reduce BJP's vote share to make Congress win," he added.

"Under the leadership of PM Modi, not only in Assam, a new development started in entire northeast. There was a time when Assam was known for agitation & violence. PM Modi did everything to bring prestige to Assam. Bhupen Hazarika was conferred Bharat Ratna," Shah told a public rally at Borduwa, the birthplace of Srimanta Sankardeva in Nagaon.

"The Congress talks about providing security when it is joining hands with Ajmal. It's ony because of its lust for power that it has joined hands with Ajmal," he said.

"The party did nothing to free Assam from violence and infiltration despite having a prime minister who was elected from the state," he said, referring to Manmohan Singh who is a Rajya Sabha member from Assam.

Lok Sabha MP Ajmal's All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) wield's considerable influence among Bengali speaking Assamese Muslims.

Shah also paid tribute to Srimanta Sankardeva, the 15-16th century saint, scholar and religious reformer.

The home minister extolled Srimanta Sankardeva for his role in unifying Assam with the rest of the country more than 500 years ago which prompted Mahatma Gandhi to remark that it was he who initiated 'Ram Rajya' in the state. "The spirit will be rekindled," he said.

Shah had, during an earlier visit to Guwahati on December 26 last year, remotely laid the foundation stone for the development and beautification of Batadrava Than at Borduwa, the birth place Sankardeva at an estimated cost of Rs 188 crore.

The Than, a Vaishnavite monastery, is being developed as a centre of art, culture, research and spirituality.

(With PTI inputs)

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