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Assembly polls: Triangular contests likely in Barak valley seats

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  7 March 2016 12:00 AM GMT

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

SILCHAR, March 6: With the Election Commission fixes April 4 as the date for election to all the 15 Assembly seats of Barak Valley, the model code of conduct also comes into force and the administration in the three districts of Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi has swung into action to enforce it. Leaders of Congress, BJP, AIUDF and Left are now busy to chalk out strategy to woo voters. Practically, the battle line is more or less defined with Congress, BJP and AIUDF as the main contenders in the fray.

Since the 90’s, as the poll history shows, the lone domince of Congress since the first general elections of 1952 has been upset with a resurgent BJP making impact at the hustings to emerge as its main adversary. And the emergence of AIUDF in 2006 brought about a new equation in the state politics with its fall out in this valley also. The Left parties have always been on the fringe, but never a challenge. The trends and developments give clear sigl that the upcoming election is going to be tough and the clear sigl points to a triangular one involving Congress, BJP and AIUDF.

Nothing can however be said to be fil till the elections are over and even after that. Congress leadership which earlier decided to go it alone is on a reset mode, jolted by BJP-AGP alliance. Hints coming from the tiol capital indicate the possibility of adjustment of Congress with AIUDF. A report suggests Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi being under pressure from the higher echelons in the party to go for understanding with AIUDF is likely to change his course of action. Its impact on the voters and their acceptance or rejection of any truck with Badruddin Ajmal will decide how Assamese and Bengali Hindus look at it. Ajmal has projected himself as a politician with commul divide and his speeches at public meetings are enough to lend credence to it.

In the fast changing scerio, BJP cannot but be happy to see the tie up between Congress and AIUDF which is bound to polarize the voters. The traditiol supporters of Congress might change their stance to favour BJP-AGP tie up. It is true AGP has no support base in this valley after the untimely death of its main architect Sahidul Alam Choudhury who has turned Congress bastion Algapur into an invincible stronghold of AGP. The tie up will definitely prevent splitting up of votes and consolidate the position of BJP-AGP combine.

After all the alysis, it is advantage Congress, considered against the fact that in the last assembly elections of 2011, it bagged 14 of the 15 assembly seats in this valley. But, the recent public rally addressed by Rahul Gandhi, vice-president of the party, here to whip up support for Barak Congress has raised certain questions. The far below expectation of turn out at the rally has been a matter of discussion in the party circles. The near absence from minority community has been quite irritating and the media reports have given indication of it.

Does it mean there has been a larger shift on the stand of the traditiol minority vote-bank of Congress towards AIUDF? Political circles have been agog with the speculations. Besides, Rahul Gandhi has not touched on the burning issues of this valley, a cause of disappointment among the crowd. Moreover, he has been ignorant of certain problems which the assembly expected of him to speak about them. In all fairness, the frontline party leader has failed to generate the enthusiasm among the workers and boost them up for the bitterest poll battle ahead. In the event of an understanding with AIUDF, Congress will definitely have the edge to face the challenge of BJP-AGP.

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