Assam

Assam Assembly polls | Congress pulls out all stops to ensure Assam victory

AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi being felicitated by APCC chief Ripon Bora in Sonitpur district. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

The move by the grand alliance or mahajot in Assam to shift their “potentially winning candidates” in the just concluded Assembly elections to Congress-ruled Rajasthan indicates the minute detail being worked out by the Congress’ election managers.

The thinking within the party seems to be that if it manages to reclaim Assam, once its stronghold, then the same campaign model can be replicated in Uttar Pradesh. The party has already named Rajesh Tiwari, a close aide of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, as a secretary in U.P., a State handled by Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra.

Apart from being a sign of things to come, it also indicates the importance attached to the Assam results. An electoral success in Assam will also be crucial for Mr. Baghel’s standing in the party as his team has been closely involved in election planning in the State. The Chhattisgarh Chief Minister, who was appointed as the party's observer, not only ensured that the Congress didn’t face any “resource crunch” but also provided crucial manpower to carry out ground surveys and voter feedback.

He is also credited with the strategy to involve Ms. Vadra to campaign among women tea workers in the Upper Assam, a traditional voting segment that had deserted the Congress in 2016. The party, in its assessment, believes a swing in the tea garden votes will change its poll fortunes, catapulting Mr. Baghel to the political Hindi heartland of U.P.

“The next area of exploration for Team Chhattisgarh will be Uttar Pradesh if things go as per plan,” a senior leader said.

Success in Assam will also cement Mr. Baghel’s position as Chief Minister — a post that was originally meant to rotate between him and his Health Minister T.S. Singh Deo, who had helmed the party’s campaign in Chhattisgarh.

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 6:32:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/assam-assembly/assam-assembly-polls-cong-pulls-out-all-stops-to-ensure-assam-victory/article34290980.ece

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