Stage set for final phase of polling in Assam

With the stage set for final phase of polling on Monday, Congress leaders already have started discussing the party’s strategy to forge alliances as there might be a hung Assembly. So have its principal adversaries, the Asom Gana Parishad and Bharatiya Janata Party.

Altogether, 9,67,7113 voters are expected to exercise their franchise in 12,589 polling stations to decide the fate of 596 candidates contesting for 64 of the total 126 seats. The first phase of polling was held on April 4.

Though the Congress is expecting a hat trick in Assam, it is likely to emerge just a single largest party in the 126-member Legislative Assembly and will need the support of others to form the next government. But its two most prospective allies, Bodoland People’s Front and
All India United Democratic Front, are not ready to be together in a coalition.

The AIUDF does not want Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi to head the next government. But AIUDF supremo Badruddin Ajmal is believed to be not averse to a post-poll tie-up with the Congress. Though Assam Pradesh Congress Committee president Bhuvneshwar Kalita is the most prospective alternative to Gogoi, the BPFis averse to joining a government headed by him.

“We will not support or join a government headed by Kalita. If necessary, we will explore an alternative government with the BJP or the AGP,” said the BPF chief Hagrama Mohilary. Gogoi said that he was sure of support from the BPF.

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