Lok Sabha polls | China could not grab an inch of our land under Modi government: Shah

The people of Assam cannot forget how Jawaharlal Nehru betrayed them in 1962, the Home Minister said at a rally in Lakhimpur

April 09, 2024 04:06 pm | Updated 09:55 pm IST - Guwahati

Union Home Minister Amit Shah being received by Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma upon his arrival in Assam, on April 9, 2024.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah being received by Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma upon his arrival in Assam, on April 9, 2024. | Photo Credit: PTI

Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday turned the clock back to the 1962 China war to attack Congress for virtually abandoning Assam.

Addressing a BJP rally in northeastern Assam’s Lakhimpur near the boundary with Arunachal Pradesh, he said the people of Assam can never forget how former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru left them to their fate six decades ago after the Chinese aggression.

“When China attacked, Nehru said bye-bye to Assam. Entire Arunachal and Assam can never forget 1962. What is the change now? Under the Narendra Modi government, China could not grab even an inch of our land. Modiji has ensured such governance,” he said.

Also read | Activist calls for border march in Ladakh to mark land lost to China

Arunachal Pradesh was the North East Frontier Agency and a part of Assam in 1962 but administered differently. It became a Union Territory in 1972 and a full-fledged State in 1987.

Much of the areas the Chinese soldiers had occupied temporarily in 1962 are in Arunachal West parliamentary constituency, where Union Minister Kiren Rijiju is seeking re-election from the BJP.

Mr. Shah recalled how the Chinese soldiers were forced to retreat from Doklam (India-Bhutan-China tri-junction) after Indian soldiers stood guard for 45 days.

He criticised the Congress manifesto, noting its mention of reinstating Muslim personal law upon gaining power. He contrasted it with Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s efforts to eradicate child marriage in Assam and the Uttarakhand government’s introduction of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

He also highlighted Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge’s questioning of the relevance of Kashmir, emphasising that the entire nation considers Kashmir an integral part of India.

“Injustice to Assam”

Attacking Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his statement on preserving Assam’s culture, Mr. Shah asked what the grand old party did for the State. He said Congress did injustice to Assam since the time of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

He credited the Prime Minister with restoring peace and developing the northeast. “Modiji restored pace by signing more than 10 peace accords which saw 9,000 youth join the mainstream by giving up arms,” he said, underscoring how violence and insurgencies claimed lives during the Congress reign in Assam.

Mr. Shah said the BJP honoured Assam’s legendary singer-composer Bhupen Hazarika by conferring Bharat Ratna on him apart from building a statue of Ahom General Lachit Borphukan, who had defeated the Mughals.

Alluding to how the BJP government evicted encroachers from the lands of the satras (Vaishnav monasteries) and the Kaziranga National Park, he said Congress left Assam’s border with Bangladesh porous for illegal migration. The BJP governments at the Centre and in the State secured the border, he claimed.

“Congress signed the Assam Accord (in 1985) but did not fulfil the promises made therein. We signed the Bodo peace accord and fulfilled all the promises within two years. The rhinos were killed during the Congress time. The Himanta government secured the animal and thereby, Assam’s tourism,” he said.

Mr. Shah further said the Modi government changed Assam by removing the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act from 80% of the State.. He said Assam received ₹4.15 lakh crore from the Centre in the last 10 years compared to ₹1.62 lakh crore from the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government in the preceding 10 years.

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