The ruling BJP in Assam today blamed the previous Congress governments for the state's long-pending boundary disputes with its neighbours, and said that the party had adopted an escapist attitude to avoid contentious matters.
The Congress, however, shot back, seeking to know what the BJP governments at the Centre and the state have done over the past few years to resolve the issue.
Addressing a press conference here, BJP state spokesperson Pabitra Marghetria said the conflict between Assam and its neighbouring states over interstate borders is a creation of the Congress.
He alleged that several lakh hectares of Assam territory have been encroached over the years by the bordering states as the Congress, which was in power for most of the time since Independence, had adopted an "escapist attitude" to avoid such issues of concern.
"There are numerous instances where people of our state residing in the border areas lost their lives and property due to aggression by neighbouring states but the Congress didn't do much about it," he stated.
He claimed that the present Himanta Biswa Sarma-led state government, which took charge in May, has ensured that not an inch of Assam land gets lost.
Six Assam police personnel were killed during a border clash between Assam and Mizoram on July 26
Pabitra Margherita further accused Congress leaders of Mizoram of playing a part in promoting Twitter hashtag '#ShameonAssam''. "The Congress leaders of the state, including its president Bhupen Bora, should seek forgiveness from common people for this."
He praised Chief Minister Sarma for "efficiently" handling the border tension with Mizoram.
"The Mizoram government had to sign an agreement over the border dispute on Wednesday after initial resistance, and this is a victory for the chief minister," Margherita added.
Responding to the allegations, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee general secretary and senior spokesperson Apurba Kumar Bhattacharjee said an elected government "cannot escape by shifting the blame" on erstwhile dispensations
"If, for a moment, I agree that the Congress had created these problems, why did they (BJP leaders) maintain silence for so long?
"The BJP has been in power at the Centre since 2014 and in Assam since 2016. What initiatives were taken by them to resolve the border disputes?" he added.