GUWAHATI, Aug 2 - After the drubbing it received in last year�s Assembly polls, the Opposition Congress party is all set for a makeover in Assam in the months to come, with organisational elections scheduled to start from next week and a new State party president expected to take over by early October.
The party claims to have increased its membership in Assam and to have made substantial inroads in the minority-dominated areas, where it had faced tough competition from the AIUDF during the 2016 Assembly elections.
Senior Congress party leaders told The Assam Tribune that the process of internal polls would begin in the State from August 7 with election process in the local booth committees.
From each booth, two delegates will be elected to the block committees, which will in turn send one member to the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) and six delegates to the district committees.
The new committees of all 33 organisational districts of Congress in Assam are expected to be formed by the first half of September.
A total of 273 members will then be elected or nominated to the APCC who will elect the office-bearers of the State committee. �The entire exercise will be completed by late September or early October,� said a leader.
Among the names making the rounds for the post of APCC president are those of former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, APCC vice-president Pradyut Bordoloi and senior leader Bhupen Borah. Sources said that serving APCC president Ripun Bora may also be elected for another term.
�All these things about various names being floated around are mere speculations. The process of organisational polls is only about to begin and there is still time before the new APCC if constituted. It is a long-drawn process,� Bordoloi told this newspaper.
He said that besides giving a makeover to the party, the organisational changes would reinvigorate the party workers and strengthen its base.
He said the recent drive in the run-up to the organisational polls has been a big success and around 10 lakh members have got registered. �We have seen an increase in our membership,� Bordoloi said.
He added that the party has regained its base among the minorities and a significant number of new workers have been inducted in minority-dominated areas of the State.
�Badruddin Ajmal may well make many tall claims. But the fact is that the AIUDF is witnessing a massive erosion among its rank and file and the Congress has made major gains in the minority-dominated areas,� Bordoloi said.
Some Congress leaders also said that the organisational makeover would help the party during next year�s panchayat polls by allowing it to bring in new faces in the rural areas.
At the national level also, a new Congress president is likely to be elected by October 15 and there have been reports that Sonia Gandhi may step aside and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi may step formally into the leadership role.