In a video message, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said Assam is being “divided on the basis of religion, culture and language” and urged voters to vote for a government that “upholds the Constitution of India and the principles of democracy”.
Forty-seven constituencies of Assam go to vote on Saturday in the first phase of a three-part election.
Dr Singh, who represented Assam in Rajya Sabha for 28 years (1991-2019), said, “You must vote for a government that upholds the Constitution of India and the principles of democracy. You must vote for a government that will care for every citizen, for every community. You must vote for a government that will ensure inclusive growth. You must vote for the government that will put Assam once again on the path of peace and development.”
Dr Singh recalled the tumultuous times Assam faced because of “a long period of insurgency and unrest” and how from 2001 to 2016, under the leadership of former CM, late Tarun Gogoi, the state “made a new beginning towards peace and development”.
“However, it is now facing very serious setbacks. Society is being divided on the basis of religion, culture and language. The basic rights of the common man are being denied, there is an atmosphere of tension and fear. Ill-conceived ‘Note-Bandi’ and badly implemented GST have weakened the economy,” he said.
The Congress is committed to protect the language, culture and history of Assam and ensure the well-being of all communities, he said. He added that if voted to power, the party will do its best to repeal the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
Describing the five guarantees of the Congress manifesto as “practical” assurances, Dr Singh said they will lead the state into a “path of prosperity”.