With the assembly elections round the corner, the daily wage of tea garden workers’ has become a major political issue for all parties.
Talks about this started with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi declaring in Sivasagar that his party will increase the daily wage from Rs 167 to Rs 365 if voted to power. Countering his remarks, BJP’s Assam co-in-charge Jitendra Singh on Thursday said the saffron party always cares about tea garden workers and will take necessary action to increase their wages.

“Congress has no moral right to question the BJP because they have ruled the country for most of the time and still ignored the community. The BJP has done a lot for their welfare since coming to power. Take the Union Budget for instance. It clearly indicates the BJP’s goodwill and commitment towards tea garden workers,” Singh said.

Responding to a question about BJP’s failure to solve issues regarding basic necessities, including access to clean household tap water in Guwahati, Singh said, “All the four water projects were started during the Congress rule in the state. It was their responsibility to complete it. How is the BJP responsible for that?”

When asked about how the party will be selecting its candidates this time, Singh added, “The party has not initiated any step regarding ticket distribution. Every angle will be examined once the process starts.”

A report prepared by the Association for Democratic Reforms and Assam Election Watch in January revealed that at least 15 out of 119 MLAs in Assam have pending criminal cases of which 11 are serious in nature. Of the 15, 7 are from BJP, 5 from Congress, 2 from AIUDF and 1 is an Independent legislator.

The Assam assembly has 126 members of which the affidavits of 119 MLAs were analysed by the organisations. Six seats are lying vacant at present and the records of BJP MLA Mansing Rongpi could not be analysed due to lack of clarity in his affidavit on the Election Commission website.

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