Earlier today, Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala came head to head during the India Today Conclave East 2021 on how the Congress party made way for the BJP in the northeast. The debate between the two spanned a host of topics, including the growing dominance of the BJP in the northeast, the leadership crisis facing the Congress party, the “political harakiri” of the Congress to align with AIUDF, along with some lighter moments when the two politicians took a dig at each other on their possible defection.
While Surjewala was optimistic that Congress would be successful in making a come back in the northeast, Sarma was unapologetic in criticising the Congress party and predicting that the party cannot revive its electoral fortunes unless they do away with the Gandhi family.
“Randeep will be with us soon,” says BJP’s Himanta Biswa Sarma in a lighter moment at #ConclaveEast21. “Himanta’s ‘ghar wapasi’ will happen soon,” responds Surjewala— IndiaToday (@IndiaToday) February 12, 2021
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Here are the 5 key takeaways from the discussion between BJP’s Himanta Biswa Sarma and Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala:
Congress has reduced itself to a family affair: Himanta Biswa Sarma
Speaking about the leadership crisis staring the Congress party, BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma remarked that the Congress party has been reduced to a family affair and that their return to power and prominence from here is nothing but wishful thinking.
“I don’t want to comment on the leadership crisis of the Congress party…Randeep Ji would be a little upset with me but the way the Congress party is managing itself and the way they have converted their political party into a family affair…I am all along saying that the Congress party will not able to come back,” Sarma quipped.
Congress can’t dream of coming back to power as long as it is led by Rahul Gandhi: Sarma
Taking a swipe at the senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on his never-ending foreign tours, Sarma said, “Congress has a leader who is always abstaining. With an abstained leader, when there is an action in India, your leader will be found in another part of the globe. With that kind of leadership, you cannot compete with someone like Narendra Modi.”
The Assam finance minister was ruthless in his attack on the senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. In a sharply critical remark against the Gandhi scion, Sarma asserted that the Congress party could not even dream of coming back to power as long as Rahul Gandhi is at the helm of the affairs of the party.
“I have always maintained that let Rahul Gandhi continue to be in the Indian politics because as long as he is there, Congress will not come back to power, you cannot dream of coming back to power,” Sarma said.
BJP committed to implementing the CAA, says Sarma
As the Citizenship Amendment Act(CAA) back into the public discourse, the Finance Minister of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma on Friday said that the BJP was ideologically committed to implementing the Act. He also added that the act will be implemented in other states as well, including West Bengal.
“Party stand won’t be diluted, and BJP is committed to the cause. CAA will apply to pan India. Whether we win or lose, we will support Hindus and minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh,” Sarma said.
“I’m sure Randeep Surjewala will soon join us”: Sarma takes a dig at Congress spokesperson
Taking a swipe at the Congress spokesperson, Himanta Biswas Sarma said that he feels Surjewala will soon join the BJP. The remark was in response to the claims made by Surjewala that the BJP has grown in the northeast primarily because of the defections from Congress and other parties.
Sarma, in his response, said, “The way Surjewala Ji is citing towering personalities of the BJP. From LK Advani to Murali Manohar Joshi, I am very sure that you will be inspired by the sacrifices made by them and will soon join us.”
Congress committed political harakiri by aligning with AIUDF: Sarma
Commenting on the Congress party’s alliance with the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) president Badruddin Ajmal for the Assam elections, Sarma said the people of the state will not spare Congress for committing this “political harakiri”.
‘People are enraged that Congress is aligning with Ajmal, a person who has destroyed Assamese culture and ethos, captured land in Kaziranga. Congress has betrayed the people of Assam, coming generation will not spare the party,” Sarma said.