Taking a jibe at Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday said the siblings visit the poll-bound Assam for "tourism".
Accusing Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi of staging photo-op, Shah said "tea leaves haven't fully grown but Priyanka Gandhi is plucking them up for photo session."
Addressing a public meeting in Karimganj, Shah said, "Unity in diversity is the hallmark of our culture, which makes us strong. But two leaders of the Congress party, the siblings come to Assam for tourism. Tea leaves have not fully grown but Priyanka Gandhi is plucking them up for photo session."
Slamming the Congress over its alliance with Badruddin Ajmal-led AIUDF, Shah said, "Rahul Gandhi says that Badaruddin Ajmal is the symbol of Assam. If Badaruddin Ajmal and Congress form the government, once again intruders will start intruding and snatch away employment of the youth of Assam."
Shah's comment comes against the backdrop of Priyanka Gandhi's visit to Assam during a poll campaign last month during which she had interacted with tea garden workers and also participated in plucking tea leaves with the workers.
Congress has stitched a coalition named "Mahajath" with All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), Communist Party of India, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Communist Party of India (Marxist Leninist) Liberation, the Anchalik Gana Marcha (AGM) and the Bodoland Peoples' Front (BPF) to oust the BJP government from office.
On the other hand, BJP is seeking to return to power with the help of Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and United People's Party Liberal (UPPL).
Polling will begin at 7 am on Saturday in 47 constituencies across 12 districts in the first phase of Assam Assembly elections where the ruling BJP and Congress-AIUDF alliance are locked in a direct electoral contest.
In 2016, the BJP scripted history and formed the government for the first time in the state ending Congress's 15-year rule. BJP and its allies Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and Bodoland People's Front (BPF) won a combined 86 seats in the 126-member Assam Assembly. BJP bagged 60 seats, AGP 14, and BPF 12 seats.
Assam is scheduled to go to polls in three phases with polls due on March 27, April 1 and April 6 for the 126 constituencies across 33,530 polling stations covering more than 2.33 crore electors.
( With inputs from ANI )
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