With the Congress playing a significant role in the Grand Alliance’s victory in the Bihar assembly elections, the party unit in Assam was in a jubilant mood on Sunday, even as the BJP said there will be no impact of the poll result in the northeastern state.
Assam is going to the polls in April next year, and Congress leaders said the victory of the Janata Dal-United led Grand Alliance in Bihar will rejuvenate the Congress camp, which has been seeing debacles in Assam since the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
“The grand victory of Nitish ji, Lalu ji and Sonia ji is a verdict of the people of Bihar against communal, divisive and anti-poor forces. The victory of the Grand Alliance has come at a time when intolerance is on the rise. It is a victory of secular, progressive forces,” tweeted Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.
Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) spokesman and former minister Ripun Bora said the victory “has motivated the party leadership, including the grassroots workers, against the propaganda of the BJP”.
“Today, the victory of the Grand Alliance in Bihar proved that the communal forces are not going to work in India,” he said.
Another APCC spokesman, Apurba Kumar Bhattacharyya said the Congress has been in power in Assam for the last three terms.
“So, there will be some complaint against the party and the government. There is some discontent as well, but this only means that people have more expectations from the Congress. This does not mean that people have started disliking the Congress,” he said.
However, a BJP leader, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said there will be no impact of the Bihar polls on Assam.
“The situations in Assam and Bihar are different and so there will be no impact. However, the results of the Bihar polls are a lesson and we are surely going to rework our poll strategy for Assam in the days to come,” he said.
The Congress, which has been winning the assembly elections in Assam since 2001, however, fared badly in the Lok Sabha elections in 2014 and could secure only three seats against the seven of the BJP.
After the Lok Sabha polls, the ruling Congress suffered due to dissidence by a section of party leaders, who revolted against Gogoi demanding a change in the leadership.
Although senior All India Congress Committee (AICC) leaders rushed to the state and quelled the dissidence, the party suffered as former health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma joined the BJP earlier this year, leading nine other Congress legislators to join the BJP a few days back.
Gogoi recently floated the idea of joining hands with forces like the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and the Left parties to keep the BJP away from Dispur state capital in the 2016 polls.