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AICC will decide on poll alliance: Singh

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Nov 6 - The final decision regarding alliance formation for the 2021 Assam Assembly polls will be taken by the party�s high command, All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary in-charge of Assam Jitendra Singh said here today.

Addressing a press conference, Singh said that the mandate for taking decisions regarding formation of electoral alliances rests solely with the party�s president and the Congress Working Committee (CWC).

He added that the Assam government is functioning like organised mafia.

Singh�s comments on alliance comes at a time when the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) has already initiated dialogue with the AIUDF as well as the Left parties for formation of an Opposition �grand alliance� in the run-up to next year�s Assembly polls. Singh�s comment has, in a way, brought an element of uncertainty into the matter.

�Alliances are not formalized by one or two individuals. During my visit here I have held talks both with Congress party workers from across the State as well as non-political people from other fields.

�Based on the feedback that I have received, I will submit my report to the AICC. Only then will discussions or anything else regarding alliance formation may happen. If any of our party leaders are talking about alliance now, then it is his or her personal opinion. Only the Congress president and the CWC have the mandate to decide on alliance formation,� said Singh, who is on a week-long visit to the State.

This is Singh�s maiden visit to Assam after assuming charge as the party�s State in-charge.

When pointed out that the APCC has already given a call to all the anti-BJP parties to join hands in a grand alliance, Singh said, �The core committee of APCC has suggested that there should be an alliance. But the final decision will be that of the party�s central leadership. If you ask me personally about having an alliance, then I will say �why not�? If other Opposition parties want to join hands with us and fight unitedly for the future of Assam, then why not? But the mandate to take the final decision is with the high command.�

Asked about the likelihood of leadership change in the State unit of Congress, Singh said, �I think this question should not arise. This is an organisational matter and only the AICC has the mandate to decide on such issues. But, let me tell you that Ripun Bora is a hard-working person and he is doing a great job. Bora worked day and night for revival of our party at a time when morale was at an all-time low.�

Singh�s reply seems to suggest that Congress may continue with Bora for the time being. Many senior leaders within the party have been demanding Bora�s removal from the post of APCC president.

He added, �There is also the question about who will be the Chief Minister (if Congress forms the next government). Nobody, however senior he or she may be, gets an automatic route to the Chief Minister�s post. Every party worker has a right to become the Chief Minister or minister.�

Asserting that Congress will not tolerate indiscipline and such incidents will be dealt with firmly, Singh said, �There is a forum to discuss issues within the party. But talking in public or to the media is not the right forum. If anybody does that, then strong action will be taken. Actually, the BJP is also involved in fomenting such cases within our party. Besides, many MLAs are not media savvy and they are not able to dodge twisted questions from the media. A MLA in Jorhat recently made some comments. I have talked with him. He will not repeat the same thing again.�

Asked about the alleged raising of �Pakistan zindabad� slogans at the Silchar airport yesterday by some AIUDF workers, Singh said that the government should hold a proper inquiry into the entire episode. �The videos of the alleged incident must be checked to ascertain their veracity. Let the government inquire into it. Nobody must dare to say �Pakistan zindabad� on Indian soil,� he said.

Singh accused the Narendra Modi-led Central government and the Sarbananda Sonowal-led State government of failure on all fronts.

�The State government is acting like a mafia in an organised way. There is a mafia tax on all items. Assam is now in the grip of a financial crisis and each citizen has a loan burden of Rs 23,000 on his or her head. There is total financial mismanagement. Recently five members of a family committed suicide in Kokrajhar due to indebtedness. Crime rate against women in Assam is the highest in the entire country. We all know about the recruitment scam. Syndicates are proliferating in all sectors. No compensation has been paid to the victims of the Baghjan fire and the flame is yet to be doused. The middle class is in distress... But Sonowal never speaks on real issues, while Himanta Biswa Sarma gives TV interviews after every two hours and sends out tweets after every 15 minutes,� Singh said.

He said that the BJP is trying to polarize the society on religious lines with a view to divert attention of the masses from real issues of growing unemployment, spiralling inflation, lack of infrastructure and worsening law and order in Assam.

He alleged that BJP has failed to fulfil any of its promises made to the people of Assam.

Singh added that Congress will fight the 2021 elections with a view to �safeguard the fabric of Assamese society�. �People of Assam fought against the Mughals and the East India Company. Now the Congress party and the people of Assam will fight against those forces which promote divisiveness and we will throw them out of power for the sake of peace, development and unity of Assam,� Singh said.

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AICC will decide on poll alliance: Singh

GUWAHATI, Nov 6 - The final decision regarding alliance formation for the 2021 Assam Assembly polls will be taken by the party�s high command, All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary in-charge of Assam Jitendra Singh said here today.

Addressing a press conference, Singh said that the mandate for taking decisions regarding formation of electoral alliances rests solely with the party�s president and the Congress Working Committee (CWC).

He added that the Assam government is functioning like organised mafia.

Singh�s comments on alliance comes at a time when the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) has already initiated dialogue with the AIUDF as well as the Left parties for formation of an Opposition �grand alliance� in the run-up to next year�s Assembly polls. Singh�s comment has, in a way, brought an element of uncertainty into the matter.

�Alliances are not formalized by one or two individuals. During my visit here I have held talks both with Congress party workers from across the State as well as non-political people from other fields.

�Based on the feedback that I have received, I will submit my report to the AICC. Only then will discussions or anything else regarding alliance formation may happen. If any of our party leaders are talking about alliance now, then it is his or her personal opinion. Only the Congress president and the CWC have the mandate to decide on alliance formation,� said Singh, who is on a week-long visit to the State.

This is Singh�s maiden visit to Assam after assuming charge as the party�s State in-charge.

When pointed out that the APCC has already given a call to all the anti-BJP parties to join hands in a grand alliance, Singh said, �The core committee of APCC has suggested that there should be an alliance. But the final decision will be that of the party�s central leadership. If you ask me personally about having an alliance, then I will say �why not�? If other Opposition parties want to join hands with us and fight unitedly for the future of Assam, then why not? But the mandate to take the final decision is with the high command.�

Asked about the likelihood of leadership change in the State unit of Congress, Singh said, �I think this question should not arise. This is an organisational matter and only the AICC has the mandate to decide on such issues. But, let me tell you that Ripun Bora is a hard-working person and he is doing a great job. Bora worked day and night for revival of our party at a time when morale was at an all-time low.�

Singh�s reply seems to suggest that Congress may continue with Bora for the time being. Many senior leaders within the party have been demanding Bora�s removal from the post of APCC president.

He added, �There is also the question about who will be the Chief Minister (if Congress forms the next government). Nobody, however senior he or she may be, gets an automatic route to the Chief Minister�s post. Every party worker has a right to become the Chief Minister or minister.�

Asserting that Congress will not tolerate indiscipline and such incidents will be dealt with firmly, Singh said, �There is a forum to discuss issues within the party. But talking in public or to the media is not the right forum. If anybody does that, then strong action will be taken. Actually, the BJP is also involved in fomenting such cases within our party. Besides, many MLAs are not media savvy and they are not able to dodge twisted questions from the media. A MLA in Jorhat recently made some comments. I have talked with him. He will not repeat the same thing again.�

Asked about the alleged raising of �Pakistan zindabad� slogans at the Silchar airport yesterday by some AIUDF workers, Singh said that the government should hold a proper inquiry into the entire episode. �The videos of the alleged incident must be checked to ascertain their veracity. Let the government inquire into it. Nobody must dare to say �Pakistan zindabad� on Indian soil,� he said.

Singh accused the Narendra Modi-led Central government and the Sarbananda Sonowal-led State government of failure on all fronts.

�The State government is acting like a mafia in an organised way. There is a mafia tax on all items. Assam is now in the grip of a financial crisis and each citizen has a loan burden of Rs 23,000 on his or her head. There is total financial mismanagement. Recently five members of a family committed suicide in Kokrajhar due to indebtedness. Crime rate against women in Assam is the highest in the entire country. We all know about the recruitment scam. Syndicates are proliferating in all sectors. No compensation has been paid to the victims of the Baghjan fire and the flame is yet to be doused. The middle class is in distress... But Sonowal never speaks on real issues, while Himanta Biswa Sarma gives TV interviews after every two hours and sends out tweets after every 15 minutes,� Singh said.

He said that the BJP is trying to polarize the society on religious lines with a view to divert attention of the masses from real issues of growing unemployment, spiralling inflation, lack of infrastructure and worsening law and order in Assam.

He alleged that BJP has failed to fulfil any of its promises made to the people of Assam.

Singh added that Congress will fight the 2021 elections with a view to �safeguard the fabric of Assamese society�. �People of Assam fought against the Mughals and the East India Company. Now the Congress party and the people of Assam will fight against those forces which promote divisiveness and we will throw them out of power for the sake of peace, development and unity of Assam,� Singh said.

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