Congress to go it alone in Assam elections

Congress to go it alone in Assam elections

Congress to go it alone in Assam elections

The Congress is planning to go it alone in the Assam Assembly elections this year when Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi will seek mandate for a successive fourth term in office.

Congress leaders here acknowledge the anti-incumbency faced by Gogoi but are keen to test the electoral waters alone in the state where the BJP has placed all its bets. BJP leaders believe that among the five states going to polls this year, the party stands a chance to make a mark only in Assam.

“We have 68 MLAs in the outgoing Assembly of 126 even after disqualifying 10 legislators for anti-party activities. Why should we hunt for allies,” a senior Congress leader involved in strategising for the elections in the state said.

The leader discounted speculation of the Congress joining hands with Badruddin Ajmal’s All India United Democratic Front (AIAUDF) which enjoys support among the Muslim-dominated districts of Assam.

Congress leaders are also closely watching Ajmal’s moves as the BJP too is learnt to be keen on having some electoral understanding, if not an alliance, with the AIUDF.

He admitted that the Congress faced a “genuine dilemma” on having pre-poll alliances in crucial poll-bound states of West Bengal and Tamil Nadu. The CPM and the DMK have already extended invitations to the Congress for pre-poll alliances in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu respectively.

Top party sources said there were favourable voices within the party for having an alliance with the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal. However, a counter-view in the party is that if the Congress has to revive its organisation in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal – where it has been out of power for several decades – the party should contest on its own strength.