Assam, March 22: Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi drives through Assam tea gardens to share his experience who has joined the digital campaign of the BJP ahead of the Assam Assembly elections.
A video was shared by the Bollywood actor on social media in which he was seen explaining the work done by chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal for tea garden workers ahead of the Assam Assembly elections.
“I think the Assam government has worked very well. Our Hon’ble CM Sarbananda Sonowal and his government has worked so well especially for tea estate workers, the ones who were in trouble for so many years. They were protesting to increase their salary, now finally they got this exponential jump. If we see that they got everything from Ration to house plus daily wages of 350-400 for tea garden workers. Their daily package is Rs. 218. This will help them to live their livelihood. It might help them to spend money on the education of their kids,” Vivek Oberoi said in the one-minute video.
Yesterday, Assam Finance Minister and BJP’s chief poll strategist Himanta Biswa Sarma warned tea estate owners to pay daily wages to their workers at the revised rate or face the music.
Addressing an election rally in eastern Assam’s Mahmora, Dr Sarma said the BJP-led government revised the daily wages from ₹96 to ₹217 over seven years.
“Your daily wage was ₹96 before Narendra Modi became Prime Minister. We revised it to ₹217 but a few tea garden owners went to the High Court against the revision in connivance with the Congress,” he told a crowd largely comprising tea plantation workers.
“I am warning tea garden owners that they should straightaway pay the workers at a rate of ₹217. They will otherwise be made to pay ₹350 if they keep stalling the revised wage with support from the Congress,” Dr Sarma said.
While campaigning for upcoming elections in the state, Top Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that a special ministry for tea workers will be set up, if Congress is voted to power in the State.
Rahul Gandhi made this statement while addressing a gathering of tea workers of Dinjoy tea estate at Chabua in the Dibrugarh district.
Rahul Gandhi said, “For the tea industry, we will start a special ministry to solve all your issues. I am not Narendra Modi, I won’t lie. Today, we give you 5 guarantees: Rs 365 for tea workers, we’ll stand against CAA, 5 lakh jobs, 200 units free electricity, and Rs 2000 for housewives.”
“Our manifesto has been prepared in consultation with the tea tribe, people, and not framed behind closed doors,” said Rahul Gandhi.
The BJP had in its 2016 vision document promised ₹351 as a daily wage for tea plantation workers. The existing wage of ₹137 at that time was increased to ₹167 in 2015.
On February 20, less than a fortnight before the poll dates were announced, the Assam government raised the wage to ₹217 but the Indian Tea Association and 17 tea companies went to court and had it stayed as they had not been consulted.
Tea plantation workers, once loyal to the Congress, largely voted for the BJP in 2016. They are a potent electoral force in 45 of the State’s 126 Assembly constituencies.