The Congress has been in power in Assam for an uninterrupted 15 years and lost power in 2016. However, today, there are new winds of change, with growing unity within party ranks, electoral guarantees, and powerful multi-party alliances.
With the tie-up in January with perfume baron and Lok Sabha member Badruddin Ajmal’s All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), the Communist Party of India (Marxist), and Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) Liberation and Anchalik Gana Morcha, things are looking bright for Congress
While former chief minister Tarun Gogoi’s passing in November due to post-Covid-19 complications was an unfortunate setback and also the two of its legislators joining the BJP, the new alliances have strengthened Congress.
AIUDF holds a great grip over Bengali-speaking Muslims, and this can fortify the outcomes of nearly 30 seats in central, lower Assam, and three districts of the Barak Valley.
The alliance was further built up when the BPF, which is influential in the four districts of Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR), joined it after quitting the BJP-led coalition. The Congress has been successful in drawing in the two new regional parties, Assam Jatiya Parishad and Raijor Dal, which are contesting the polls together.
Presently, state Congress chief Ripun Bora, legislature party leader Debabrata Saikia, Lok Sabha members Pradyut Bordoloi and Gaurav Gogoi, All India Mahila Congress president Sushmita Dev and former minister Rakibul Hussain are joining hands at public events to send out their signals of unity.
Rahul Gandhi is an Indian politician and a member of the Indian Parliament, and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, an Indian politician and the general secretary of the All India Congress Committee in charge of Uttar Pradesh have also interacted with workers and voters to build up Congress’ cadre in Assam. Gandhi has promised the Congress will not implement the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Assam if the party comes to power and has promised the tea garden laborers Rs 365 per day wage for tea garden workers in Assam. Notably, representatives of the different tea workers’ unions have been demanding the Assam government to increase the daily wage of the workers up to Rs 351.33, so Rahul Gandhi is promising more.
Priyanka Gandhi pledged 500,000 jobs, Rs. 2,000 per month allowance to housewives, a minimum daily wage of Rs. 365 to tea garden workers and 200 units of free electricity every month. The Congress followed this up with a promise of 50% reservation in government jobs for women if it comes to power.
Assam is like a mini India with great diversities but tremendous unity and does not thrive on Hindutva politics. Rahul Gandhi said when visiting the state, “The hate which is being spread, shall end. We shall protect every religion, every caste, every person. We shall provide job opportunities to our young.”
Assam is expected to go to the polls in April.