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2016 polls in Assam: Congress on a soggy turf

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  22 Feb 2015 12:00 AM GMT

According to sources, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had a detailed discussion with the party’s tiol in-charge for Assam CP Joshi on possible tie-up with the AIUDF… AIUDF president Badruddin Ajmal said in a press release today that his party had no talks with the Congress for any electoral alliance. “Such grapevines come out before every election,” Ajmal said, and appealed to the people not to be misled by such rumours.

By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, February 21: The Congress in Assam is trying its best to fight a ‘losing battle’ in 2016. As of discussion going on among the top leaders of the party for the past few days, the party has already sniffed the unpleasant fact that the party cannot make it to Dispur for the fourth consecutive term alone, and as such they have engaged themselves to find means that can ensure them to win the seemingly ‘losing battle’. The party believes that a ‘losing electoral battle’ can be won if there is strategic partnership among parties that are not strong enough to make any big win.

The two consecutive wins of the BJP in Assam – the last Lok Sabha elections and the recently-held civic body elections – have left the Congress leaders in the state to cudgel their brains to make it to Dispur for the fourth term in a row. The party is out to stop the BJP’s surge in the state.

According to sources, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had a detailed discussion with the party’s tiol in-charge CP Joshi on possible tie-up with the AIUDF. It is worth mentioning here that whenever any Congress-AIUDF electoral alliance is discussed or talked about, Gogoi’s famous one-liner – who is Badruddin – does make a quick flash in everybody’s mind. Since Joshi and Gogoi had a discussion on the issue of alliance with the AIUDF, it, political pundits said, is beyond doubt that the Congress in Assam has taken it for granted that it cannot go it alone in the 2016 Assembly elections in Assam.

According to sources, Gogoi kept the option of alliance with the AIUDF open. He, however, said that the matter was not discussed with the AIUDF as yet.

It may be mentioned here that the AIUDF was on record saying recently that it might be a constituent of the proposed third front with the regiol forces in Assam, minus the Congress and the BJP. In such a situation, if the AIUDF will go with the proposed third front or the Congress is a matter still far away from becoming a reality. The situation now is such that all parties are weighing all options for strategic partnership for the 2016 Assembly elections.

Meanwhile, in order to keep its organizations in the state intact, the All Assam Congress Committee (APCC) started its three-day review meeting at Rajiv Bhavan in the city from today. Each day there are three sittings and altogether there are nine sittings in the three days. As many as 270 leaders, including district-level party leaders, have been chosen by the state leadership of the party for interaction at the three-day brainstorming.

According to sources, on the first day of the meeting today, most of the district-level leaders of the party were asked as to why the party had to face a debacle in the last Lok Sabha and the civic body elections in Assam. The district-level leaders responded to the query differently, but it is not exactly known what the most common reply to the question was. The question, according to sources, was asked before APCC president Anjan Dutta and CP Joshi.

According to sources, Joshi is going to prepare a report after hearing all state leaders of the party and submit the report to AICC president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi.

According to sources, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi is in no mood to fill up the four vacant portfolios in his ministry before the Budget session.

So far, the battle line in Assam for the 2016 showdown is not yet clear. If at all the proposed third front is floated, which side the AIUDF will take is still a big question. The BJP, however, said recently that it might go it alone in the 2016 in Assam. The party’s state president Siddhartha Bhattcharyya made such a statement recently after the party winning most of the wards in the municipal board and town committee elections. The BPF also made its stand clear that it would go with the party that would be ready for the development of the BTAD. BTC CEM Hagrama Mohilary made such a statement at the BSS conference in Guwahati recently.

Meanwhile, AIUDF president Badruddin Ajmal said in a press release today that his party had no talks with the Congress for any electoral alliance. “Such grapevines come out before every election,” Ajmal said, and appealed to the people not to be misled by such rumours.

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