Gogoi’s Grand Alliance Dream Crumbles in Assam
Assam CM Tarun Gogoi: all alone?
GUWAHATI: Is a grand alliance against the BJP, along the lines of Bihar possible in Assam? Congress chief minister Tarun Gogoi who seems to have realised that the ruling party is on a losing wicket now, is looking around for allies in the state for the Assembly elections that are now about four months away but finds no takers.
Feelers have been sent out by the Congress to the Asom Gana Parishad, All India United Democratic Front(AIUDF), CPI and CPI(M).
AUIDF president Badruddin Ajmal is clear about his opposition to the BJP but currently silent about a possible alliance with the Congress.
The poor performance by the Congress government does not make it attractive to the other political groups in the state. AGP is instead talking to the BJP currently.
"This is an age of alliance. We are seriously considering it. We will be taking a decision very shortly," said AGP president Atul Bora when reporters asked him on BJP's offer for a deal to defeat the ruling Congress. Party insiders say that the AGP is prepared to accept the deal if BJP leaves 38 seats for the regional party. These include 8 seats it holds presently and 30 other seats where the AGP leadership sees a strong possibility of victory. But at the moment the BJP has offered only 30 seats. Party leaders are tightlipped on the development.
"We want an alliance with all parties except Congress and AIUDF," said state BJP president Sarbananda Sonowal.
Senior party leader and Guwahati MP Bijoya Chakarbarty said," hectic confabulations are going on. But the Central leadership will take a final call." The AGP has dropped its earlier anti-BJP stand in what is being seen as a significant move in the state.
For the last several months Bodoland Peoples' Party (BPF) said that they would go only with the single largest party. Till the other day, the former Congress coalition partner was indecisive. But on Saturday a BPF delegation met Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding a special package for BTAD development indicating his support to the anti Congress alliance. "Sarbananda-da is good friend of mine. Himanta Biswa Sarma also my good friend. I know both of them. We have sought a special package from the Prime Minister for BTAD development, if it so happens we are ready," BPF president Hagrama Mohilary told reporters after meeting PM Narendra Modi at the initiative of BJP leaders Sarbananda Sonowal and Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma in New Delhi on Friday.
"Except Congress and AIUDF we are keeping our doors for all regional parties," said Sarbananda Sonowal who is BJP's chief ministerial candidate in Assam.
The CPI has already made it plain that it will not go with the Congress party.State general secretary Drupad Borgohain has told reporters in Guwahati that the party would go it alone in the assembly polls.
"We will field 22-25 candidates to contest the polls across the state. There is no question of any alliance or understanding with Congress. But we are firm against BJP," said Borgohain.
The Newly floated Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) led by former BJP leader Pradyut Bora, has not said anything about joining Gogoi's grand alliance. But the party, which has announced the first list of poll candidates with two names, will not support BJP.
The Gana Mukti Sangram Samity led by firebrand Akhil Gogoi has been going all out against the BJP. Recently, it took out a huge march of people to Dispur in protest against BJP and RSS alleging communal activities and anti-people policies of the Narendra Modi government. That's why, Tarun Gogoi urged the party to join the anti BJP alliance. But much to Gogoi’s disappointment, GMSS will not contest the polls.
The last hope for Tarun Gogoi is AIUDF. Much to his delight, AIUDF president Badaruddin Ajmal told reporters in New Delhi recently that his party would support an anti-BJP alliance. However, the perfume baron who has 17 MLAs gave no assurance about the Congress that is being hit by an anti-incumbency wave after 15 years in power. Ten MLA’s left the party recently in an indication of which way the wind is blowing.