Coming Assembly polls
NEW DELHI, Jan 28: Admitting that the political scenario in the State has drastically changed following formation of the new regional outfits, an internal survey of the Congress has projected that the party is in a position to win only 19 of the 43 seats in upper Assam in the coming Assembly election.
The preliminary survey that analysed only 43 seats in Assam has come as an eye opener for the Congress, as it has predicted that the party may lose some of its strong bastions like Nazira, Sivasagar and Mariani to the ruling BJP. The survey also indicated that the Congress party’s grip in the tea belt of upper Assam has been lost.
According to the report, in upper Assam the Congress has 19 winnable seats, seven half probable seats, seven challenging but winnable seats and 10 non-winnable seats.
The report noted that formation of regional parties, including the Assam Jatiya Parishad, backed by the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and the Raijor Dal, backed by the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), has changed the political scenario in the State. Many of the rebels from both the Congress and BJP, including an MLA, have joined these new regional parties, it added.
Both these regional parties will impact the voting pattern in constituencies, mostly in upper Assam, where the tea community voters “remain loyally committed to the BJP”. There is likely to be division of votes of the greater Assamese community, the report predicted, adding that the BJP “with its agenda to polarise the Hindu votes” is likely to offset any erosion of votes by the new regional parties.
Under the circumstances, the Congress party in order to keep the non-BJP votes intact should forge strategic understanding with the regional parties in few seats, the survey report opined.
But surprisingly, though the report spoke highly about the advantages of the regional parties in upper Assam, it has predicted that the BJP will sweep the entire tea belt and Assam, with many Congress leaders falling flat.
The report said that the regional alliance has some strategic advantage because of the failure of the Asom Gana Parishad, an NDA partner, to stand against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act, as also the imprisonment of KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi. Traditional sympathy towards AASU will also benefit AJP, the report added.
It opined that that currently the Congress has no leader of standing in upper Assam and demise of former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has led to a vacuum. The situation has to be neutralised and key leaders hailing from upper Assam should be given responsible positions.
According to the report, the Congress is likely to perform better in central Assam and comfortably win Nagaon, Hojai, Lumding and Jagiroad seats, while Samaguri, Jamunamukh, Dhing and Lahorighat seats have also been marked to go in favour of the party.
Golaghat, Batadraba and Morigaon are also likely to be wrested by the Congress party, the report said. Kaliabor and Khumtai seats were also projected to go to the Congress, according to the report.
Meanwhile in a major restructuring of the party in the State, the All India Congress Committee has changed 17 presidents and appointed as many working presidents, mostly in lower Assam and Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR), besides a couple of districts in upper Assam.