'NDA's double-engine to ensure Assam's growth'

NDAs double-engine to ensure Assams growth

Guwahati/Sualkuchi/Sorbhog: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said a befitting response will be given to those responsible for the Naxal attack in Chhatisgarh at an appropriate time.

He also said search operations are continuing in Chhattisgarh following the encounter.

Bodies of 17 of the 18 jawans missing after the encounter were recovered on Sunday, taking the death toll to 22, police said separately.

Though Shah arrived at Sualkuchi, in Jalkubari constituency after addressing his first rally of the day, to campaign for NEDA convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma, he left without making any speech on learning of the Naxal attack. He took a helicopter to Guwahati en-route to Delhi to take stock of the situation.

Before leaving, the home minister told reporters he was appealing to people to vote for Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to ensure Sarma's victory by a huge margin. He added that the vote would strengthen the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his work in Assam and the North East.

Shah said that both Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Sarma are working to develop the state and ''we want this to continue''.

Congress had earlier charged that there was discord between the chief minister and a key minister without naming them. ''This is a golden opportunity for the people to give BJP and our team another five years so that we can ensure a flood-free, developed Assam'', he said.

The Union Minister said that Sarma's contribution in this development process is immense and as the convenor of North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), he ''is also needed for the development of the entire North East''.

He accused the Congress of beginning the election campaign in the state on the promise of protecting its identity and pride but ending up "by stating that AIUDF Chief Badruddin Ajmal is Assam's identity''.

''I just want to ask that when Vaishnav saints Srimanta Sankardeva, Madhavdeva, brave Ahom general Lachit Barphukan and Bharat Ratnas Gopinath Bordoloi and Bhupen Hazarika are linked to Assam's pride and identity, can Ajmal represent or occupy the same space, he asked rhetorically.

Earlier addressing an election rally in Sorbhog in Barpeta district, Shah accused the Congress of having no discernible agenda for Assam's development, and asserted NDA's 'double-engine' government will continue to ensure the state's growth.

Shah claimed the Congress was "dividing people" in order to rule over them, while the BJP follows the mantra of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Vishwas' (with all, development for all and belief in all).

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