Sunday 9 May 2021
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Congress passes off Taiwan, Sri Lanka as Assam: PM Modi

While addressing a crowd in election-bound Assam today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi slammed the Indian National Congress (INC) for inaccurately sharing pictures from Taiwan and Sri Lanka, trying to pass them off as Assam tea garden.

“It is injustice and insult to our beautiful Assam,” the prime minister said, speaking to the crowd in Chabua. He said that the INC had lost touch with Assam by virtue of its false allegations.

Earlier in March, two photos of a tea garden had triggered a huge controversy in Assam. The state’s Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who was years ago an asset of the INC, fact-checked to find that the opposition party was using photos from Taiwan on its Assam campaign page.

Sharing a screenshot of one of the photos on Twitter, Sarma said that the official INC campaign page was using a photo of a tea garden from Taiwan to say ‘Assam Bachao’.

In the face of BJP’s onslaught, Assam Congress politician Bobeeta Sarma said it was “election propaganda”. She said that the BJP, devoid of any issue to sell to the people of Assam after their series of “empty promises” was resorting to “propaganda” against the national party.

But her travails were not yet over. Yesterday, the INC once faced criticism and ridicule when it passed off an image from Sri Lanka as that of Assam.

In a no-holds-barred attack, Himanta Biswa Sarma stated that the official INC Twitter handle had shared a picture from Sri Lanka announcing the two-day visit of ex-INC president Rahul Gandhi in Assam.

To buttress his claim, Sarma shared a screenshot from Adobe Stock which showed a similar image to the one used by the INC titled ‘Tea plantations and factory in Sri Lanka’.

This was not the first time that Himanta Sarma had fact-checked posts put out by the INC, earlier the BJP leader had labeled the national party as a “fake news factory” for using a video of a mock drill in Jharkhand to call it shooting by the Assam police.

The focus of the BJP and INC for this upcoming assembly elections has been to secure the votes of the tea garden workers. In about one-third of the 126 Assam segments, the votes of the tea garden workers will determine the future of the poll candidates. To secure this vote bank, both BJP and INC have doled out money to the workers and took up other welfare initiatives for them.

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