Guwahati (Assam) [India], February 18 (ANI): Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has alleged the BJP government in Assam has been running a "systematic syndicate" and said that cow smuggling is flourishing in the state.
"The situation in Assam is frightening due to the 5-year-old Sonowal government. Cow smuggling is flourishing under the government in Assam. BJP has been seeking votes in the name of cows countrywide but in Assam, it has been hand and glove in sponsoring and carrying out cow trade across the border with Bangladesh. In fact, the Sonowal government has been running a systematic syndicate," Baghel said.
"It is a fact that the meat export of Bangladesh has grown many folds in last few years. Ever since BJP has come to power in Assam in 2016, cow trade and exports of cow meat in Bangladesh have gone up by 211 per cent just in two years," he added.
In January, Congress had appointed Baghel, General Secretary Mukul Wasnik, and Bihar MLA Shakeel Ahmed Khan as party observers of Assam in the view of upcoming state Assembly elections.
Countering the Sonowal government for claiming that they are stopping this cow trade, Baghel asked -- "if it is true then where are the cows being kept, and which gaushala have they been kept at".
He alleged that the task of cow protection has been given to the Animal Husbandry Department instead of the police.
"The Syndicate is not limited to just cow trading, 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 dealing in bamboo, pan, fish etc," Baghel said.
The Chief Minister said 16.42 lakh people were unemployed in Assam between 2016 and 2018 and this figure has increased to 20 lakhs 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 estimate of 15 to 18 lakh youths have migrated from Assam, looking for job opportunities. In Assam, we have seen the closure of two big paper mills which left thousands unemployed, some even committed suicide," he said.
Drawing comparisons between Assam and Chhattisgarh, Baghel said the BJP government is unable to provide the minimum support price (MSP) to the farmers.
"We are buying paddy from the farmers at MSP. Apart from MSP, we have started a new scheme called "Rajiv Gandhi's Kisan Nyay yojana", where we are paying Rs 10,000 per acre to the farmers for paddy, sugar cane, and maize. Forget about anything extra, the Sonowal government is unable to provide MSP to the farmers and subsequently, they have to sell paddy at the rate for Rs 900-1000 per quintal," he said. (ANI)