Assam

Assam elections | Congress moves its candidates to resort ahead of results

Dispur constituency candidate Manjit Mahanta during an election campaign rally, in Guwahati. Fearing horse trading, Congress is moving its candidates to a resort.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Assam unit of the Congress has herded its Assembly poll candidates to a resort in Sonapur, about 30 km east of Guwahati.

The move ahead of election results on May 2 is apparently to stop the ruling alliance led by the BJP from luring its candidates away.

The Congress had fielded 95 candidates in the three-phase poll that ended April 6. It left the remaining 31 seats to its coalition partners in the 10-party Mahajot, or grand alliance.

The party believes the people will reject the BJP-led alliance and the party could indulge in horse-trading if the verdict on May 2 is fractured.

Congress spokesperson Bobbeeta Sharma played down the decision to keep its flock together.

“The candidates want to stay together for a few days in a relaxed environment away from public contact,” she said on Thursday.

But Rupjyoti Kurmi, the party’s three-time MLA from Mariani constituency, told a group of reporters that the BJP has been sending feelers to a few candidates.

“Everybody knows what happened in Goa and Manipur. The BJP will try to buy some victors among us or browbeat the Opposition MLAs with threats of implicating them in some case or the other,” he said.

Other candidates at the resort said that the party had convinced them that the grand alliance would get an absolute majority and form the government.

“We intend to take part in internal and online competitions in poetry recitation, dancing and singing. We will brush up on our fitness too, as the resort has a well-equipped gym,” a candidate said, declining to be quoted.

Soon after the third and last phase of polling, the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) had packed off most of its 20 candidates in a chartered flight to a resort in Rajasthan. They returned a few days ago.

The AIUDF is a key constituent of the Mahajot, as is the Bodoland People’s Front, which also had sent 10 of its candidates to Chhattisgarh. A few candidates had reportedly spent a couple of days in adjoining Bhutan.

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Printable version | May 16, 2021 12:47:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/assam-assembly/assam-elections-congress-moves-its-candidates-to-resort-ahead-of-results/article34383370.ece

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