By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Feb 13: With the chilling cold in Assam on the wane, there has been an increase in the frequency of leaders of tiol parties visiting the poll-bound State. All such visits, among other things, are intended to woo the voters of the hitherto neglected State that is set to witness its Assembly elections after a few months.
And now another political heavyweight who is on his way to set his feet on the State is All India Congress Committee (AICC) vice president Rahul Gandhi. His recent lower Assam visit was embroiled in a controversy concerning his visit to Barpeta Xatra. This time around, the Nehru-Gandhi scion is to set land at Rowriah Airport in Jorhat directly from Delhi on February 15. The two-day trip of Rahul Gandhi to the State is whirlwind yet packed with programmes, all in upper Assam.
Soon after his arrival at Rowriah on February 15, Gandhi is to hop dais throughout the day. From the airport, he will leave for Gohpur where he is going to take part in a micro booth magement committee programme of the party. From there he will leave for Bihpuria to take part in a women’s congregation of the party on the same day, and later in the evening he will be at Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi’s LAC – Titabor, and then leave for Sivasagar for the night halt. The next morning, that is on February 16, he will lead a padayatra at Sivasagar and address a rally at the Darbar Field there in the evening, and fly for Delhi from Rowriah airport.
Rahul Gandhi’s proposed visit to the State, close on the heels of the two successive visits by Prime Minister rendra Modi and BJP’s tiol president Amit Shah to the State, is significant on many a front. While the Prime Minister visited Kokrajhar, Shah visited Kokrajhar and gaon.
A question that arises now is: Will the Gandhi scion be able to erase the influence which the two top BJP leaders, including Modi, left on the electorate? It has been certain that the campaign for the Assembly polls in the State has picked up its momentum, and one can never say how many times the Prime Minister and other top leaders of the BJP and that of the Congress will visit the State in the coming months.
It is also a matter to be seen if the frequent visits of the Union ministers to the poll-bound state will continue even after the Assembly elections or not. The veracity of the BJP’s opt-repeated statement that the Union ministers keep visiting the State to take stock of the problems afflicting the State will be ascertained only after the Assembly elections in the State. This is also a fact that a number of BJP leaders have been camping in the State.
This is quite significant that the Congress in the State relies more on the Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi to boost the morale of party leaders and cadres in Assam, and the electorate as well, as though the party feels the dearth of star campaigners nowadays. However, in so far as statesmanship is concerned, the Congress in Assam has a number of orators.