GUWAHATI: The death of Tarun Gogoi, the longest serving Chief Minister and popular politician, will impact the Congress party in the 2021 Assembly elections in Assam.
Some leaders, workers and insiders at the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) strongly feel that the death of Tarun Gogoi might create a sympathy wave and emotion for the party, especially in Upper Assam.
"Gogoi's death has aroused emotion and tragedy among the people across Assam. In the past whenever such tragedies struck before the elections, political parties tend to fall back the grieving family to pick up the next leader to exploit the sympathy wave. Even though it is too early to comment on the issue, TarunGogoi's son and MP Gaurav Gogoi could be a choice of the AICC to lead the party in the 2021 Assembly elections in Assam," an insider in the APCC said. He, however, said unless the Congress high command takes some very calculative steps to fill up the vacuum created by the Gogoi's death, the party might have to fight the next year's elections without a popular face.
A senior APCC leader said when the Congress will go to the people in 2021 Assembly elections the party has to showcase the achievements, peace and progress that took place in Assam during the three terms of Tarun Gogoi as Chief Minister (2001 to 2016). He said the party will require an impressive and dynamic leader to convince the people that the previous Congress regime was better than the present BJP regime for the people of the State.
"With the latest public endorsement by the influential BJP leader and State Cabinet minister Himanta Biswa Sarma that late Tarun Gogoi started the NRC exercise and opposed the Congress' central leadership's move to introduce a similar legislation like the IM(DT), the party can now counter charges that it has always been safeguarding the interest of immigrant Muslims for the sake of vote bank politics. But it will all depend how the party leaders play up the issue before the voters," another APCC insider said.
"The party will definitely miss the voice of Tarun Gogoi that could command attention in the corridors of power in Delhi. Gogoi sir had unique ability to call a spade a spade," another senior APCC leader said. He said late Tarun Gogoi was the most vocal leader in the entire Northeast against the ruling BJP government's alleged anti-people policies.
"Gogoi sir also took the lead to form a grand alliance against the BJP till the time he was infected with COVID-19. He was an acceptable figure among non-Congress and other anti-BJP political parties. We are clueless now as to what will be the fate of the proposed grand alliance," a leader said.
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