Branding the Congress as "old currency notes, which are of no use", Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the country has moved in the reverse direction for 75 years owing to the "non-performance of the grand old party".
He claimed that the northeastern region, which "barely saw development" under Congress rule, is marching towards prosperity under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"The Congress has turned into old currency notes, which people don't want to touch because they are of no use," he said at a byelection campaign rally of the BJP at Agartala assembly constituency. The saffron party has fielded senior leader Ashok Sinha from the seat, who is set to take on Congress heavyweight candidate Sudip Roy Barman.
"The country stepped backwards for 75 years because of Congress's non performance. For a Rajdhani Express, Tripura had to wait for so many years. Now, the northeast is marching ahead towards prosperity," the Assam CM said. Former Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb also spoke at the rally.
Sarma, who arrived here on Sunday morning to hit the campaign trail, could not address two scheduled rallies in North Tripura and Dhalai districts, for by-elections to Yubarajnagar and Surma assembly constituencies respectively, due to inclement weather. However, he led a road show in Town Bardowali Assembly constituency in support of Chief Minister Manik Saha, who is contesting from the seat.
Hitting out at the Congress, the North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) chairman quipped that the party had been losing elections one after another since 2014. "Have you heard of the Congress winning any election in the past ten years? Be it Assam or Uttar Pradesh or Uttarakhand, the BJP is winning all battles of ballots under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership," he stated.
Lauding Modi's leadership, Sarma said it was he who had ferried Covid-19 vaccines to places like Tripura's Jampui Hills and Arunachal Pradesh's Tawang. "If there wasn't a prime minister like Narendra Modi, the suffering would have been unimaginable at such difficult times," he maintained.
Sarma also highlighted the BJP-led government's welfare schemes for the underprivileged, stating that the poor people "are now being given free rice as well as free vaccination". Urging voters to support BJP candidates in the by-election to all four Assembly seats in Tripura to "strengthen the hands of Modi", the Assam CM sought ten years' time to turn Tripura into an entirely new and developed state.