On Jan 20th, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was addressing a rally at Khanapara in Guwahati.Almost at the same time Anjam Dutta, Assam Congress president was busy attending a Gandhi Sabha on boats over the river Brahmaputra in Baghbor.
In order to attract Modi’s attention to the massive erosion, Congress public rally was held on boats.That has hit the Baghbor block in Assam’s Barpeta district. More than the erosion in Baghbor, perhaps Congress is silently worried about is the erosion of public support towards the country’s Grand Old Party ahead of the state polls to be held in March-April.
Tarun Gogoi, Chief Minister from ruling Congress government for the last 15 years, the fear of incumbency is real and losing to the former minister Himanta Biswa Sarma a couple of months ago to arch-rival BJP only compounded its woes.
Modi in his speech said that they’re asking me about my achievements for 15 months, when they have failed to give their report card for 15 years. Despite giving a prime minister for 10 years (Manmohan Singh) and despite having Chief Minister for 15 years (Tarun Gogoi) it has brought no difference to the state. Other parties got a very little chance in this state.
There were a lot of cheers for PM Modi but the question remains how many claps and cheers will be converted into votes.
According to Sarma, the main objective of Modi was to energize the youth workers of BJP. This first meeting in Assam, where over more than a lakh youths assembled for a political rally at one single place.
Gaurav Gogoi, Assam Congress Lok Sabha MP said that they hoped that Modi will answer the questions on the development related on Tribal fund, his relaxations for industry in the Northeast, particularly Assam. This government has stopped all of that but past government gave this state a lot of financial aid.
When they’ll start helping? there is already an increase in price of food and medicine, it seems Centre has no plans for the recovery of the packages for Assam, like earlier. However, the application of the programmers took a hit in Assam when the BJP government not agreed the same kind of importance as it enjoyed during Manmohan Singh’s rule.
He further added that Assam Elections will be fought on the basis development and it seems that BJP has avoided development related ideology.
According to Sarma, Modi announced a few projects for the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD).The main idea of Modi in Kokrajhar was to for benefit of BJP-BPF alliance.
BPF broke its 13-year-old alliance with the Congress in June 2014 accusing it of non-cooperation in the development of the BTAD. Hagrama Mohilary, president of BPF is leading the party and it is second upcoming regional party.
However, Modi did not made any reference to the demand of Rs 1000 crore package neither demand for BTAD nor did he touched on the sensitive statehood issue for the Bodos.
According to Sarma, Hagrama Mohilary told him that he didn’t invited Modi for the Rs 1,000-crore package. It is all projected in that way by the media only.
Congress appears to be unruffled by the alliance. According to Gaurav Gogoi , BPF is a small regional party and it is free to choose its ally. Congress foundation is solid and strong.
As per Sarma, Congress did forget that in 2006 the party could form government in Assam with the help of BPF.” In this 126-member Assembly, the party was forced to seek support from the 12 BPF MLAs. It is alright that they have only one MP. It might be a small party for the Congress, but it is big for us” Sarma Said.
Congress MP summed it up well when asked about the number of seats his party is going to win in the Assembly polls ahead. No, he did not say 64, which is the majority mark.
Gaurav Gogoi further added that people in Assam wants peace, the party with much better track record will win and it’s very early to predict now.