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PM to hit Assam campaign trail
K Anurag in Guwahati | March 31, 2006 16:44 IST
After Congres party president Sonia Gandhi's whirlwind day-long electioneering in Assam Thursday, it is the turn of the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to try boost Congress' fortunes in Assam.
Dr Singh who is an Rajya Sabha member of Parliament from the state, is arriving in Assam Saturday for a two-day election tour. He will cover as many as four election meetings during Saturday and Sunday.
On his arrival on Saturday he will campaign for the party in the silktown of Sualkuchi near Guwahati, at Mukalmua in Nalbari district. On Sunday he will address election ralies at Tezpur in northern Assam and at Donkamokam in Karbi Anglong. This was mentioned by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi in Guwahati Friday.
The Congress ridiculed the rival Asom Gana Parishad and Bharatiya Janata Party for banking on Bollywood filmstars for electioneering in the state.
The AGP has roped in Jaya Prada and filmstar-turned-politician Jaya Bachchan while glamourous Hema Malini and TV star Smriti Irani have hit the campaign trail on behalf of the BJP in the state.
"Bringing filmstars for electioneering in Assam is not the political culture of the state. The AGP and BJP are so frustrated and confused about how to stop the Congress from coming to power that they are roping in filmstars from Bollywood to woo voters on their behalf," Gogoi said.
He said people of Assam were politically too mature to be swayed by the sights of glamourous filmstars who presence in electioneering would hardly be translated into votes in Assam.
"Even colossal artiste like Dr Bhupen Hazarika couldn't win in the last parliamentary election in the state. The filmstars are like life saving drugs for the both AGP and the BJP," Gogoi said.
The chief minister criticised the BJP and Asom United Democratic Front president Badaruddin Ajmal for communalising the atmosphere in the state in the name of electioneering.
"Ajmal is another Togadia, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader. Ajmal had brought Syed Ahmed Bukhari, the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid to campaign for his party. The Imam was used by BJP in New Delhi during last parliamentary polls, but Congress candidate Kapil Sibal emerged the winner there. The Imam's fatwa will not work in Assam," Gogoi said.