Union home minister Amit Shah on Tuesday mocked the Opposition Congress and its former president Rahul Gandhi at a BJP rally near Upper Assam’s Dibrugarh town while asserting that the ruling BJP would retain power for the third straight time with over 300 Lok Sabha seats.
Addressing a rally of BJP karyakartas at the foundation stone-laying ceremony of the party office, which will help cater six of the state’s 14 Lok Sabha constituencies, he said the Congress lost the recently-held Assembly elections in three Northeast states despite Rahul-led Bharat Jodo Yatra.
Elections were held in Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya in February. BJP was — and is — part of the ruling coalition in Meghalaya and Nagaland and leading a coalition government in Tripura. The Congress was not in power in any of the states.
“In all eight states of the Northeast, under (Narendra) Modi ji’s leadership, we have NDA and BJP governments. That is why there is development in the Northeast. Once upon a time, the Northeast was considered a bastion of the Congress. Rahul Baba took out a yatra of the country but when elections were held in these three states, the Congress was wiped out but Rahul Baba will never understand,” Shah said targetting Rahul for “badmouthing” India when he goes abroad.
Rahul led the Congress-organised Bharat Jodo Yatra from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, walking over 3,500 km in 136 days from September 7 to January 30. The objective of the Yatra, according to Rahul, was to “unite” India against the hatred and violence being “witnessed” in the country. The ruling BJP had dismissed the Yatra from the outset, questioning what was there to unite.
In his 12-minute speech, Shah either highlighted the achievements of the party under Modi or targetted the Congress and its leaders, a party which the BJP repeatedly says is finished. “Tell me Assam wallo, Dibrugarh wallo, should any desh-bhakt badmouth the country when abroad? ... Rahul baba please understand even now. You (Congress) have been wiped from the Northeast and if travel on this road continues you (Congress) will be wiped from the country,” Shah said.