Congress in advantageous position in Assam
Guwahati, Mar 04: The contours of Assam Poll 2006 are fast emerging as the AGP and the Congress will give the main fight for power, with smaller parties and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) trying to be post poll players.
As the scramble for tickets have started and cacophony of canvassing is about to begin, the BJP has reconciled to the fact that they are playing a marginal role while smaller left parties as well as NCP and Muslim parties are trying to come together in a bid to save themselves from the demolition by the big two-- the AGP and the Congress.
''We will like to be the kingmaker but the key to Dispur will be with us,'' said BJP Party-in-Charge Pramod Mahajan, even as he is busying himself with selecting the candidates.
The AGP leadership are flying back today from their trip to Andhra Pradesh and New Delhi and would like to have left in their fold even if the speculation is rife that both BJP and AGP had already reached a secret understanding of seat sharing.
''We will not have any understanding with the BJP and rather are interested to have a tie up with the left and are in the final process of sealing the seat sharing'' said AGP President Brindabon Goswami.
Amongst the left, the CPI is more powerful in Asom and they are keen to go with AGP while CPM, who has literally no existence apart from two constituencies are fiddling with the idea of bringing all fringe parties together.
The Congress is sitting pretty with a tie up with the Bodo parties and are confident of romping home. '' We will turn history wrong by regaining power,'' said Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, when pointed out that no government in last three decades had returned as anti-incumbency wave had always swept them away.
But the Congress too is confident this time. ''Our strategic partnership with Bodo will ensure a smooth sailing in Northern Bank of Brahmaputra. We will have some tough contest in the South bank but eventually we will win,'' said Mr Gogoi admitting that his party's total seat will reduce but will win enough seats to form the government again.
The AGP, after series of huge rallies all over the state, is full of confidence. '' We are contesting in nearly 100 constituencies and will leave some seat to the CPI, TGP and CPM,'' said Mr Goswami.
But in private, he too admits that presence of breakaway AGP (P) will make their job tough in many constituencies. ''Thanks to the AGP (P), we will not have to campaign in many constituencies. They will fight amongst themselves and we will win''.
The Muslim parties like Assam United Democratic Front(AUDF) will try to gain the minority votes, but Congress master stroked at the last moment with the amendment to the Foreigners act to keep in tact their vote bank which they are projecting as replacement to the infamous IMDT act.
The fact remains that at this moment, despite a strong visible anti-incumbency wave, advantage is still with Congress which may change once the political parties hit the campaign trail from the middle of the next month.