GUWAHATI, July 16 - With the next Lok Sabha polls slated for next year and having been routed electorally across many parts of the country in recent times, the Congress party is now looking to revive its fortunes in this region through the recently reconstituted North East Congress Coordination Committee (NECCC).
Sources in the grand old party told The Assam Tribune that the reconstituted NECCC will look to take on the BJP-backed North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) as part of the Congress� plan to increase its outreach in this part of the country and win a majority of the 25 Lok Sabha seats from this region in the 2019 Parliamentary polls.
It is noteworthy that seven out of the eight Northeastern States are now ruled by either BJP or its allies from NEDA. Congress, which for long had a monopoly over the political landscape of North East, is now in power only in Mizoram.
With BJP making an all out thrust to secure the maximum number of seats in North East in next year�s General Elections, the Congress party has also decided on going all out to regain its old strength in this region and NECCC will play a major role in this.
On being contacted, senior party leader and vice president of Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) Pradyut Bordoloi said that the All India Congress Committee (AICC) headed by Rahul Gandhi has taken a conscious decision to revamp and regroup the NECCC and make it once more effective.
�NECCC was dormant since some time and was not functioning as an effective body. Our party leader Rahul Gandhi has now given it a new shape. NECCC will now assess the strengths and weaknesses of all our State units in North East and carry out analysis State-by-State,� he said.
Bordoloi said that the political nuances and factors in North East are a bit different from the rest of India.
�So a body like NECCC is the perfect forum for formulating our party�s strategy in this region, for framing a roadmap and as well as for coordination among the various State units in North East,� said the senior Congress leader.
A former Assam Minister, he said that NECCC will in coming weeks and months study the undercurrents in all NE States and work in tandem with the respective Pradesh Congress Committees (PCCs).
Asked if the party�s decision to reconstitute NECCC comes in the wake of NEDA�s concerted effort to make North East �Congress-mukt�, Bordoloi said, �Actually, it is BJP which borrowed the concept of NEDA from NECCC. NEDA came afterwards. It is BJP which emulated Congress.�
Gandhi had earlier this month reconstituted NECCC with Manmohan Singh, former Prime Minister and Rajya Sabha MP from Assam, as its patron. Former Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma was named chairman of reconstituted NECCC. All Congress Chief Ministers and former Chief Ministers of Northeastern States will be advisors in the body.