GUWAHATI: Senior Assam cabinet minister and North East Democratic Alliance convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma today took a jibe at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi saying he has wasted a precious day by coming to Sivasagar to address a mere crowd of about 15,000.
The former All India Congress Committee (AICC) president has arrived in Sivasagar to formally launch the party’s Assam assembly election campaign at Boarding Field.
“I have addressed an election meeting at Boarding Field in Sivasagar recently. It can hardly accommodate 15,000 people. For a leader of Rahul Gandhi’s stature, it is a mere wastage of precious time to flay all the way from Delhi to address 15,000 people. He could have addressed them over video conferencing,” Sarma said here today.
“He could have used the day better by paying obeisance at the Kamakhya Temple, Batadrava Than and Barpeta Satra where he could have met more people. I don’t have any meeting today. But, I have used my time better to meet at least 6000 people since morning by doing some fruitful things like inaugurating footbridges etc,” the BJP leader said.
“Besides, the Congress is also incurring a huge cost on a special aircraft to Jorhat and a helicopter from there to Sivasagar. It also involves security arrangement, including paramilitary force movement etc,” he added.
Reacting to Sarma’s jibe, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Ripun Bora told a television channel in Sivasagar that Sarma should use his time planning for his own party rather than wasting time poking his nose into Congress’s affairs.
“He has no business in advising Rahul Gandhi or the Congress how to campaign. We are there to plan whether Rahul Gandhi should visit Kamakhya Temple or any other place. It is because of the BJP’s misrule that we are finding it difficult to accommodate so many people in our leader’s rally today. Thousands are pouring in from all parts of the states which is a testimony to the people’s aversion to the ruling government. People today know that it is only the Congress that can save Assam from the BJP’s sinister designs to sell off Assam’s assets to Ambanis and Adanis,” Bora told the channel.
The Congress is expecting a turnout of 30,000 to 40,000 in the rally.