Assam Congress sacrifices seats for allies to oust BJP

GUWAHATI, MAR 10 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 3/10/2021 12:42:26 PM IST

The decision of the Congress to sacrifice seats for its allies in its strongholds may weaken its organisational base, but for the grand old party, which has ruled Assam for half a century, defeating BJP is more important than keeping intact its influence in all the constituencies, reports Times of India.

AICC general secretary and the party's Assam in-charge Jitendra Singh told TOI on Tuesday that Congress is keeping the broader picture in mind and not the dissent within the party.
Aggrieved workers from minority-dominated Dhubri district staged massive protests at the state party headquarters, Rajiv Bhawan, here on Tuesday, opposing handing over of key seats to the AIUDF.
Assam Pradesh Congress Committee's (APCC) general secretary Kalyan Gogoi also quit the Congress after he was denied a ticket in the prestigious Sivasagar constituency, where the party has fielded a youth leader against heavyweight candidates Surabhi Rajkumari of the BJP and Raijor Dal president Akhil Gogoi.
“We were amazed to see as many as 700 applications for 126 assembly seats in Assam. There is democracy in the Congress and a wave in favour of our party. Congress will come back strong again in those seats which we had to hand over to other allies just to oust the BJP from power,” said Singh.
He said there is no dissension in the seats which Congress is treating as A-category seats, which have high wining prospects.
“Personally, I am in touch with the dedicated workers whom we could not give tickets for various reasons. When we will form the government, the organisational base of the Congress will expand further. We will try to accommodate them in government bodies,” Singh added.
While the seat-sharing deal of the Congress has passed off smoothly with the Left parties - CPI, CPM and CPI-ML (Liberation) - getting four seats, complications still exist regarding a few seats with the AIUDF and Hagrama Mohilary’s Bodoland People’s Front in lower Assam and the Barak Valley.
Also, the regional ally of the Congress-led grand alliance, Anchalik Gana Morcha, has expressed resentment for not getting the Batadrawa seat for their candidate.
For the first phase of polls, Congress has declared candidates in 43 out of the 47 seats. But, major seat-sharing issues will be in the second and third phases, where its allies have sought most of the seats in lower, central and southern Assam districts in the Barak Valley. A grand alliance insider, however, said the differences will be sorted out before Congress declares the candidate list for the second and third phase elections by this week.

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