Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will visit Assam on Saturday to extend the solidarity to the people protesting against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), a senior Congress leader said.
Rahul Gandhi will also address a party rally and pay the party’s tributes to those killed in the state during the Anti-CAA protest, Congress in-charge of Assam, Harish Rawat told reporters on Friday.
“Rahul Gandhi will speak to people about how the Centre and the BJP government in the state are trying to crush a democratic movement and stifle dissent with brutality.
“When people of Assam had hit the streets against the undemocratic move, five fell to bullets and several others were injured,” Mr Rawat, a former Uttarakhand chief minister, said.
He said Rahul Gandhi also wishes to meet the families of 16-year-old Sams Steford and 17-year-old Dipanjal Das, who were killed during the stir at Chaygaon near Guwahati.
He said Mr Gandhi’s father, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, had signed the Assam Accord in 1985 “sacrificing” the Congress government in the state.
“Rahul Gandhi understands the sentiments of the people of Assam as the state is close to him,” Mr Rawat said.
The Hiteswar Saikia-led Congress government in Assam had stepped down after the signing of the Accord.
Stating that Congress was the first party to speak against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill when it was tabled in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, Mr Rawat accused the BJP-led government at the Centre of using “defection, allurements and suppressing smaller parties” to get the bill passed in parliament.
He said Sonia Gandhi had told a visiting delegation of the Assam’s civil society that the party was “obliged” to heed the sentiments of the people of the state on CAA.
“We believe that our secular Constitution and our cultural unity forge the concept of India. CAA crushes and destroys everything,” Mr Rawat said.