Cong licks dust after eight years as BJP-ASDC emerge winners

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Guwahati, Dec 5 (UNI) In a major fortune reversal, the ruling Congress has made way for the BJP-ASDC combine to take over the North Cachar Hills District Autonomous Council (NCHDAC) after being routed for the first time in any election in the state since 1999.

The Congress met its electoral waterloo by winning just three of the 27 seats at the NCHDAC, which went to the polls, after having ruled the Council for several decades.

The election to one seat was countermanded after Dimasa rebels gunned down the Congress candidate.

An exuberant BJP state president Ramen Deka, terming this a historic win for the party in state politics, said, '' This defeat of the Congress will have reflection in the coming Panchayat elections and sound the bugle of defeat for the Congress.'' However, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) chief Bhubaneswar Kalita claimed the poll verdict was influenced by the militant outfits and the party would approach the State government to conduct a neutral enquiry, alleging that the polls were not free and fair.

The Autonomous State Demand Committee (ASDC) and the BJP had contested the NCHDAC election under the banner of Joint Coordination Committee with a seat sharing arrangement.

While the BJP won all the nine seats it contested, the ASDC bagged 12 seats. Three seats each were notched by the Congress and the Independents.

The BJP-ASDC are all poised to form the tenth Council on December 7 with ASDC NC Hills president Prakanta Warisa, BJP NC Hills chief Kulendu Doulogapu and Joint Coordination Committee convenor Dibulal Hojai, the front runners for the Chief Executive Member (CEM) job. BJP chief Deka said his party would sit with the ASDC to come at a consensus for the top slot.

Just as the Congress' rout came as a shock for the party after its undefeated streak in polls since 1999, the Council election also saw the ouster of the longest and most controversial dynasty in Assam's political history.

The patriarch of the family G C Langthasa, a minister in the state government, was defeated as was his youngest son Dibendu. His two elder sons had earlier fallen victim to militant bullets with the latest casualty being his second son Purnendu, who was shot dead in June this year.

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