Other States

Assam tea garden photos spark BJP-Congress spat

Assam Health and Education Minister BJP's main poll strategist Himanta Biswa Sarma claimed that the Congress has used photos of tea estates in Taiwan on its campaign page. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

A couple of tea garden photos have sparked a controversy in poll-bound Assam where plantation workers are in focus.

Assam Finance Minister and the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) main poll strategist, Himanta Biswa Sarma, on Thursday claimed that the Congress has used photos of tea estates in Taiwan on its campaign page.

The Congress trashed the claim and said it would lodge a complaint with the Election Commission of India (EC).

“Official Congress campaign page is using photo of tea garden from Taiwan to say ‘Assam Bachao’ (Save Assam). Congress leaders can’t even recognise Assam? This is an insult of Assam and Tea Garden workers of our State,” Dr. Sarma tweeted with screenshot of one of the photos attached.

“First Congress couldn’t identify Assam, now Congress can't even recognise Assamese people. This is again a pic from Taiwan. Congress leaders have forgotten Assam. Let’s show @INCIndia how beautiful our land is,” he tweeted again, sharing the other photo.

The Congress retaliated to accuse the BJP and Dr. Sarma of resorting to propaganda with “fake” photos.

“Without any issue to sell to the people after tall promises, the BJP is resorting to such tricks as people are connecting with the Congress and looking for progress to return. The BJP is clearly rattled,” Congress leader Bobbeeta Sharma said.

She said the Minister should have verified the photos before using them. “We are filing a complaint to the EC,” she added.

Under the “Assam Bachao” campaign, Congress leaders had taken out bus rides across the State to meet voters and understand their problems.

Both BJP and Congress are concentrating on the votes of tea plantation workers who are a deciding factor in 45 of the State’s 126 Assembly seats. Hiking the plantation workers’ daily wage to ₹365 is one of the five-point “guarantees” of the Congress. The BJP too doled out money to the workers and took up other welfare initiatives for them, besides raising the wage by ₹50 to ₹217 in February.

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Printable version | Apr 19, 2021 6:52:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/assam-tea-garden-photos-spark-bjp-congress-spat/article33989598.ece

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