Dibrughar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today beat a large traditional drum in Dibrugarh, Assam, to signal the beginning of the BJP's election campaign in Assam and in a public address lashed out at the Congress' Gandhis.
- Hinting at the Gandhis, PM Modi blamed 'one family' for parliament logjam
- PM Modi was speaking in Assam where elections are due in April
- He urged Assam to 'give BJP a chance', which is under Congress rule
Without naming them, the Prime Minister said "one family" was responsible for the disruptions in Parliament that have stalled important legislative business and reforms and said he wondered if they were exacting "revenge" for their defeat in the national election of 2014.
"There are leaders in opposition parties who want Parliament to run even as they oppose me, but one family is too rigid to allow the Rajya Sabha to function," PM Modi said, asking Assam to give his BJP a chance in elections due by April.
"The Prime Minister's job is to run the country not make excuses," retorted Rahul Gandhi, speaking to the media in Delhi. "For the past 1.5 years Narendra Modi is the PM... He should start running the country," the Congress vice-presidents aid, claiming "even industrialists are crying saying this government is not doing what they promised for us."
The Budget session of Parliament begins later this month and the government hopes to push through important reforms like the Goods and Services Tax Bill, stalled repeatedly in the Rajya Sabha by the Congress which has a majority in the Upper House.
The BJP hopes to reverse the equation in the upper house, whose members are elected by state assemblies, by winning more state elections. Elections will be held in five states by April, including in Assam, which is ruled by the Congress.
PM Modi said today that the Congress has neglected the welfare of the state and said development would "become a reality if there is a government in Assam which listens to the Centre."
The Congress swept the the 2011 assembly elections, winning 78 seats. The BJP got 5 seats, and won a by-election later in the year.
However, in the Lok Sabha elections the BJP won 7 of Assam's 14 seats, and fancies its chances at extending the good run to this year's assembly election.