NEW DELHI, Oct 13 - The Congress is likely to go it alone in Assam in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections targeting at least 11 of the 14 seats, said Harish Rawat, AICC general secretary in-charge for the State, on Saturday, while claiming that the Sarbananda Sonowal government�s popularity �is on the wane.�
Interacting with newsmen here, Rawat said so far there is nothing on the table as far as poll alliance is concerned. He even ruled out any poll pact with Badruddin Ajmal-led AIUDF. �In fact, we are targeting two of the three Lok Sabha seats held by the AIUDF,� he revealed.
Pressed further, he said that the matter of alliance with the AIUDF has not been discussed as yet. �Right now, there is no chance of any alliance,� he said.
Rawat said that several seats held by the BJP are likely to fall into Congress party�s lap given the disenchantment of the people towards the Sonowal government. The AGP, which is part of the ruling alliance in the State, is also likely to face public wrath, he opined.
Instead of political alliance, the Congress is opting for social alliance with various groups and institutions in hills and plains in both the Brahmaputra and Barak valleys, he said.
�Because of the BJP government�s confusing stand on the minority and Hindu Bengali communities, its popularity is on the wane. The BJP has not been able to address the concerns of the Bengali-speaking people, both Hindus and Muslims,� he observed.
The Congress party�s stand is that genuine Indian citizens should find place in the final NRC, Rawat said. He, however, did not comment on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 as the matter was pending before the Joint Parliamentary Party. The Hindu Bengalis in Assam are feeling more hurt because of the NRC and they are feeling insulted and BJP national president Amit Shah�s statement that not a single foreigner would be allowed to stay in India has added to their anxiety, he observed.
The Congress will highlight the unfulfilled promises of the BJP government in the State during the elections, Rawat said, adding, the Modi government�s apathy towards the Northeast such as withdrawal of the Special Category Status accorded by the Dr Manmohan Singh government would be another poll plank.
The delay in according scheduled tribe status to six communities of Assam will be another issue, he said. During the Congress regime, the issue reached the Central government and the Tribal Affairs Ministry was actively considering it, but now the file is back in Dispur and the Sonowal government is clueless, Rawat said.