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BTC poll: Cong-AIUDF tie-up banks on Adivasi, minority votes

By PRANJAL BHUYAN
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GUWAHATI, Dec 1 - The Congress-AIUDF alliance is banking on the support of the Adivasi and minority community voters to fulfil its aim of emerging as the �kingmaker� in the forthcoming elections to the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC).

Senior leaders of the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) also opined that the �high-voltage campaign� carried out by the BJP has hurt the prospects of the Bodoland People�s Front (BPF), the United People�s Party Liberal (UPPL) and the Kokrajhar MP Naba Kumar Sarania-led Gana Suraksha Party (GSP), but has failed to dent the support base of the Congress-AIUDF alliance.

�We are confident of achieving our target to become the kingmaker in the next BTC administration. The Congress and the AIUDF have jointly fielded candidates in only a few seats as we wanted to concentrate only on those constituencies which we identified as Category A seats and where we have good organisational base and public support. Unlike other parties, we�re not spreading our resources, but instead focusing on the �core� constituencies,� an APCC office-bearer told this newspaper on Tuesday.

Asked about the alliance�s seat-wise target, he said, �We are confident of winning in double-digit. In the last BTC elections of 2015, the AIUDF had won four seats. This time we expect AIUDF�s numbers to go up to five. Add to that at least five or six seats for the Congress and we will easily cross the 10-11 mark.�

Congress leaders also claimed that the BJP�s aggressive campaign has impacted parties like the BPF, the UPPL and the GSP.

�The BJP has managed to win over some segments of the Bodo as well as the non-Bodo electorate. It has almost finished off the GSP, while also denting the bases of both the BPF and the UPPL. However, the BJP on its own will not secure more than five seats,� said another senior Congress office-bearer.

He added, �On the other hand, the Congress-AIUDF alliance has been able to maintain its support base. We are mainly relying on the support from the minority community voters and a chunk of the Adivasi electorate of the BTC. The BJP has not been able to erode our base.�

As part of the alliance, the Congress is contesting from 13 out of the 40 constituencies of the BTC, while the AIUDF has fielded its candidates in six seats. The other parties, including the BJP, the BPF and the UPPL, are contesting the polls on their own.

Meanwhile, on being contacted, APCC general secretary and the party�s BTC poll in-charge Durga Das Boro said the alliance expects further momentum for itself from tomorrow when senior leaders of the Congress and the AIUDF will jointly address election rallies across the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR).

�We will have a series of rallies between tomorrow and December 6. AIUDF president Badruddin Ajmal, along with our State president Ripun Bora and senior leaders, will canvass together,� said Boro, who is a former State minister. No party will be able to secure more than 10 seats on their own in the BTC polls, he added. �So, the next BTC government will be formed only with participation of at least three parties and the Congress-AIUDF alliance will be uniquely placed to play the role of a kingmaker,� he said.

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BTC poll: Cong-AIUDF tie-up banks on Adivasi, minority votes

GUWAHATI, Dec 1 - The Congress-AIUDF alliance is banking on the support of the Adivasi and minority community voters to fulfil its aim of emerging as the �kingmaker� in the forthcoming elections to the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC).

Senior leaders of the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) also opined that the �high-voltage campaign� carried out by the BJP has hurt the prospects of the Bodoland People�s Front (BPF), the United People�s Party Liberal (UPPL) and the Kokrajhar MP Naba Kumar Sarania-led Gana Suraksha Party (GSP), but has failed to dent the support base of the Congress-AIUDF alliance.

�We are confident of achieving our target to become the kingmaker in the next BTC administration. The Congress and the AIUDF have jointly fielded candidates in only a few seats as we wanted to concentrate only on those constituencies which we identified as Category A seats and where we have good organisational base and public support. Unlike other parties, we�re not spreading our resources, but instead focusing on the �core� constituencies,� an APCC office-bearer told this newspaper on Tuesday.

Asked about the alliance�s seat-wise target, he said, �We are confident of winning in double-digit. In the last BTC elections of 2015, the AIUDF had won four seats. This time we expect AIUDF�s numbers to go up to five. Add to that at least five or six seats for the Congress and we will easily cross the 10-11 mark.�

Congress leaders also claimed that the BJP�s aggressive campaign has impacted parties like the BPF, the UPPL and the GSP.

�The BJP has managed to win over some segments of the Bodo as well as the non-Bodo electorate. It has almost finished off the GSP, while also denting the bases of both the BPF and the UPPL. However, the BJP on its own will not secure more than five seats,� said another senior Congress office-bearer.

He added, �On the other hand, the Congress-AIUDF alliance has been able to maintain its support base. We are mainly relying on the support from the minority community voters and a chunk of the Adivasi electorate of the BTC. The BJP has not been able to erode our base.�

As part of the alliance, the Congress is contesting from 13 out of the 40 constituencies of the BTC, while the AIUDF has fielded its candidates in six seats. The other parties, including the BJP, the BPF and the UPPL, are contesting the polls on their own.

Meanwhile, on being contacted, APCC general secretary and the party�s BTC poll in-charge Durga Das Boro said the alliance expects further momentum for itself from tomorrow when senior leaders of the Congress and the AIUDF will jointly address election rallies across the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR).

�We will have a series of rallies between tomorrow and December 6. AIUDF president Badruddin Ajmal, along with our State president Ripun Bora and senior leaders, will canvass together,� said Boro, who is a former State minister. No party will be able to secure more than 10 seats on their own in the BTC polls, he added. �So, the next BTC government will be formed only with participation of at least three parties and the Congress-AIUDF alliance will be uniquely placed to play the role of a kingmaker,� he said.

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