“In 2016 assembly polls in Assam, the BJP touted the Gujarat model. Now people of Assam have seen the hollowness of the Gujarat model, which is riddled with unemployment, skyrocketing prices and underdevelopment,” Baghel told ET in Guwahati.
“We will talk to voters about the Chhattisgarh model, where a new scheme called ‘Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana’ was started under which Rs 10,000 per acre is paid to the farmers for paddy, sugarcane and maize. There is a huge flow of investment without any roadshows. The state is getting investment to the tune of Rs 43,000 crore from the 210 MoUs (memorandums of understanding) inked,” he said.
He said his government increased the list of minor forest produce to 52 items from just seven.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Chhattisgarh government also increased the minimum support price for mohua to Rs 30 from Rs 17, said Baghel. “We purchased mohua from tribals and this led to inflow of more money to the adivasis,” he said.
Talking to media persons, Baghel said while the BJP has been seeking votes across the country in the name of cows, in Assam it has been sponsoring and carrying out cow trade across the border with Bangladesh.
“Meat export to Bangladesh has grown manifold in the last few years. Ever since the BJP came to power in Assam in 2016, cow trade and export of cow meat to Bangladesh have gone up by 211% in just two years. The Sonowal government has been claiming that it is stopping this cow trade and has claimed many hundreds of seizures of such illegal trade. If it is true, then where are the cows being kept and which gaushala (cow sheds) have they been kept at?” said Baghel.
“The Sonowal government has broken all records in coal brokerage and illegal coal trading. Almost 500 trucks of illegal coal transportation are taking place every day. Besides this, there are syndicates (illegal cartels) dealing in bamboo, pan, fish, etc,” he said.
Baghel said in its vision document of 2016, the BJP had promised employment of 460,000 jobs to the people of Assam every year. He said chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal should explain how much employment his government has provided. “As per my information, 16.42 lakh people were unemployed between 2016 and 2018 and this figure increased to 20 lakh in 2020.This implies that instead of giving employment, the BJP government has snatched jobs of around 5 lakh people. I am told that today, an estimated 15- 18 lakh youths have migrated from Assam, looking for some job opportunities,” he said.
He said according to the first report of the commission of inquiry set up by the Sonowal government during the Covid-19 pandemic, unemployment in Assam stood at a staggering 27%.
Further, Baghel said the Sonowal government is quiet on tea labour reforms. “Our leader Rahul Gandhi had made a promise to the tea workers. I want to assure the people of Assam that this promise will be fulfilled in the same manner as it was fulfilled in Chhattisgarh,” he said.
In Chhattisgarh, the Congress government had waived farmer loans within two hours after taking oath, he said.