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Congress continues to dominate upper Assam
March 29, 2006 15:12 IST
The Congress continued to dominate the whole of upper Assam, maintaining its traditional stronghold even as the Bharatiya Janata Party made remarkable inroads into the tea bastion.
Launching yet another whirlwind tour of electioneering in Upper Assam, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today told UNI, "We are well off here. We do not have much concern."
The Upper Assam, in the southern bank of the Brahmaputra, is a force to reckon with 27 seats in the Assembly, and all the Chief Ministers have hailed from this area in the past three decades.
The Congress has always been the dominating factor, thanks to 300 odd tea gardens scattered all over the area and in the last election they won 23 of the 27 leaving only two to the Asom Gana Parishad and one to the BJP.
This time the situation remained the same. The Congress is going strong in Duliajan and Jorhat, while it is batting on a sticky wicket in Sibsagar, Nazira, Dergaon and Tingkhong.
"You are wrong on Dergaon. There also we are winning. As far as Sibsagar is concerned, it has never been the Congress citadel. We won it last time luckily," said Mr Gogoi.
But his bete noire and AGP President Brindabon Goswami is hopeful of an AGP revival. "We are surely winning the Tingkhong. So worried is the Congress that they are trying to eliminate physically our candidate Anup Phukan," said Mr Goswami.
Gogoi is concentrating hard on Upper Assam as it is going to poll in the first phase. The AGP realising that it does not stand much chance except Sadiya and Tingkhong is zeroing in on the lower and central Assam, where their presence is stronger. The most notable change is taking place in 1985, the year the AGP came into existence. It was never lost by the AGP in the past four elections.
"We have no contest in Jorhat. That is gone for over," said Gogoi, a fact the AGP camp has started admitting reluctantly. As far as the ULFA-dominated Tinsukia district is concerned, ULFA diktat runs completely and constituencies like Margherita and Doomdoma and Sadiya have strong presence of the ULFA.
As most of the Upper Assam is economically far more superior than the rest of the state, the Congress will reap the biggest benefit as the voters are unlikely to go for a change even as the BJP has made real inroads into the tea bastion, but that should not be enough.