Guwahati, March 19: Hitting the campaign trail in Upper Assam for the first phase Assembly election, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi criticised the Prime Minister Narendra Modi over “his unfulfilled promise” of increasing tea worker’s wage to Rs 351 per day.
The BJP-led government in Assam increased the tea wage by only Rs 50 up to Rs 267 per day in Brahmaputra Valley in Assam and to Rs 195 per day in Barak Valley of the state.
Rahul Gandhi today reiterated that the Congress-led Mahajot, upon coming to power, would increase the tea workers’ wage up to Rs 365 per day.
“Tea wage is one of the five guarantees we have made. We guarantee not to implement Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in the state. Among the other guarantees include five lakh jobs, 200 units of free electricity and Rs 2,000 per month for housewives,” Gandhi said while addressing a rally at Doomdooma in Tinsukia district on Friday afternoon.
Regarding the Congress’ plans to generate employment in the next five years, he said that the first step of the government would be to fill up the vacant government posts. “Besides, we will provide incentives to Northeast under special plans. We will provide special incentives to the tea industry. We will reduce taxes. We want our youths to start new enterprises,” he said.
Gandhi also referred to an interaction he had with college students at Lahowal in Dibrugarh district where he was asked why the country was not generating jobs for youths.
“The Prime Minister makes big speeches and talks about “Start-Up India” and “Make in India” …but unemployment is increasing. But it is the small and medium businesses which generate jobs. However, such enterprises have been hit hard by the demonetization drive and introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST),” he said.
The Congress leader appealed to the electorate to vote for the “Grand Alliance,” claiming that the Mahajot would safeguard the history, culture and language, which he alleged was under threat during the BJP-led government.
Countering the incumbent BJP, Gandhi alleged that the saffron party “wants to rule Assam from Nagpur and that it was a threat to Assam’s history, culture and language”
The Congress leader also visited a tea estate in Chabua and addressed people there before interacting with the college students at Lahowal.
This is his second visit to the poll-bound state this year.