At the first major election rally held by the Congress in Sivasagar district, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi announced that the party would not allow the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Bill if elected to power and defend the Assam Accord. Several Congress leaders took to the stage donning the Assamese gamusa or towel with the letters CAA crossed out at the rally.
"Whatever happens, we will not let the CAA be implemented," said Rahul. "We want to save Assam — we will not allow any power to divide Assam. If anyone wants even to touch the Assam Accord, and wants to spread hatred here, they will be taught a lesson jointly by the people of Assam and the Congress party," he added.
The Assam Accord signed in 1985 following a six-year-long anti-foreigner agitation in the state, was an agreement for identifying foreigners. As per the agreement, those who entered the country after March 24, 1971, shall be determined as foreigners. However, as per CAA provisions, non-Muslim immigrants who entered the state until December 31, 2014, shall be given citizenship.
In other election promises, Rahul Gandhi also promised a hike in tea plantation workers' daily wage from Rs 167 to Rs 365 and a Chief Minister from amongst the people. Taking a the jibe at present CM Sarbananda Sonowal, he said, "Remote control can operate a TV but not a CM (Chief Minister). The current CM listens to Nagpur and Delhi. If Assam gets a CM like this again, it will not benefit the people. The youths need a CM who will give jobs to them." Rahul Gandhi also recalled former four-times CM late Tarun Gogoi, his 'guru', and the years of 'peace' ending the 'era of violence' under his rule.
Minister and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma later responded with a jibe that if Congress is true to its words of saving Assam, it must take a stand against Bangladeshi immigrant Muslims.