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Congress marching ahead in Asom

Written by: Staff

Guwahati, May 11 (UNI) The Congress is all set to form the first ever coalition government in Asom as it won 22 seats in the state Assembly and is leading in another 30.

The AGP despite its pre-poll bravado is unlikely to improve its past tally and is now struggling at just four seats, while leading in 15 others. Half of their leaders have lost. Senior party leader Brindabon Goswami has lost at Borsolla while he won from Tezpur seat.

But the biggest surprise is the strong emergence of the AUDF, which in fact affected all the parties, partially the BJP and the Congress.

The Bodos have more or less retained their turf and it will help the Congress come back to power, proving all pre- poll calculations wrong.

The Congress has done well in upper Asom retaining most of the seats but in the Barak valley the AUDF surprised all by leading in more than half the seats. However, in lower Asom, the AGP did wrest back some seats but in totality, the Congress has defied strong anti- incumbency wave.

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and his confidante Himanta Biswa Sharma expected a huge win but Congress state president Bhubaneswar Kalita, CM aspirant Devananda Konwar and Transport Minister Anjan Dutta lost in the polls.

The Congress literally swept aside Upper Asom only losing two major seats Thowra and Amguri but they had done exceedingly well in the North Bank. The division of vote between AGP and AGP (P) helped the Congress scrape through in many seats.

However, even that will not be enough for the Congress to form the government on its own and they will have to depend heavily on their election ally BPPF(H) which is expected to win around eight seats and some smaller parties.

A buoyant Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said he had proved everyone wrong. '' I was written off but I proved everyone wrong. People of Asom realized what Congress meant to them. They want peace and development and this is the vote for it,'' he said.

He, however, admitted the Congress would be flexible in choosing the post-poll alliance and will form a coalition government. The Congress beside BPPF(H) should be roping in NCP in their fold. About the choice of chief ministership, he said the high command would take the decision.

Mr Gogoi's right hand man Himanta Biswa Sharma has always swung into action to garner support for the party.

With BJP remaining 'untouchable,' the AGP is all set to head for another term in the opposition as the new bloc AUDF, a Muslim radical party, may prove to be a liability for them. The AGP leadeship have literally vanished as they were completely rejected and expected to win around 20 seats, which is much more than last assembly's strength of 13.

The BJP is so far leading in 11 states but they have been routed in Barak valley, their traditional stronghold where the Muslim party AUDF has emerged as a strong force eating into both Congress and AGP votes and marginalisng the BJP.

The AGP has had mixed results. If injured AGP leader Pradeep Hazarika, Brindabon Goswami and Chandra Mohan Patowary are leading, Jagadish Bhuyan is losing. In fact former minister Jatin Mali lost in Palasabari and for the first time since 1985, AGP lost the Dhemaji seat too.

However, the smaller parties would play the crucial role for the formation of next government and AGP in a desperate bid had swung into action to form an anti-Congress axis in the state.


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