GUWAHATI: Accusing the BJP of adopting "double standard" on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), senior Congress leader Bhupesh Baghel on Thursday said the top brass of the saffron party, which had been talking of implementing the contentious law in Bengal, is scared of raising the issue in Assam.
Addressing a press conference here, the Chhattisgarh chief minister alleged the BJP had been avoiding answers on bigger issues of concern such as unemployment, inflation, devastating floods, the plight of tea plantation workers and the thriving syndicate of smugglers.
"In Assam, BJP leaders are completely silent on the issue of CAA. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal is silent, minister Himanta Biswa Sarma is silent. The prime minister (Narendra Modi) and home minister (Amit Shah) also avoid the issue during (poll campaign) addresses.
"Their silence shows that they are disoriented when it comes to CAA implementation. The party's double standard on the matter has been exposed," Baghel said.
The Chhattisgarh CM further demanded that the saffron party leaders come clean on the issue.
"In West Bengal, Union Home Minister Amit Shah claimed that a decision on CAA implementation will be taken during the first cabinet meeting if the BJP forms government there. However, in Tamil Nadu, BJP leaders have stated that CAA won't be implemented, no matter what," he pointed out.
Baghel reaffirmed that his party, if voted to power in Assam, will ensure that the CAA is not implemented.
"Our leader Rahul Gandhi has time and again said that we will not allow amended citizenship law implementation in Assam under any circumstance," he pointed out.
Stressing that the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee has condemned Shah's statement, where he claimed that there has been no protest in the state over the last five years, the Congress leader contended, "He simply wants to obliterate the anti-CAA uprising that happened in Assam.
"He wants to deny the existence of young boys like Sam Strafford and Dipanjol who lost their lives in police firing. What can be more unfortunate for the people of Assam than this?" None of the BJP leaders found time to visit homes of anti-CAA "martyrs, but Rahul Gandhi did visit the families in Hatigaon and Chaygaon to share the pain of their parents, Baghel, also a senior observer of Assam elections, said.
"The people of Assam understand very well that voting the BJP to power for another five years would mean the state's culture and identity would get destroyed. They are aware of the party's nefarious intentions. Exuding confidence that the Grand Alliance, of which the Congress is a major constituent, will register a resounding victory, he said, "People will exercise their franchise to win over challenges such as unemployment, price rise and CAA."
Emphasising that a democracy has provided each citizen with a 'Brahmastra' (celestial weapon) to dethrone a party that is "hell-bent on destroying the social fabric of Assam", Baghel said, "The Congress has given assurances that it won't let the state become a detention centre."
Detention centres have been set up in Assam to house people who did not make it to the National Register of Citizens, which was updated in the state in 2019.