Oct. 10: The ruling Congress today won the elections to the Sonowal-Kachari Autonomous Council but the mood was dampened by its decimation in the Mising Autonomous Council poll.
Ganashakti-fielded Independents swept the 40-member Mising Council poll, spread over eight districts, winning 31 of the 34 seats to which elections were held on October 3 and 7. Election to two more seats will be held after Durga Puja while four members will be nominated by the state government, both of which will have no impact on the Congress’s prospects.
Even in the Sonowal-Kachari Autonomous Council poll, which covered seven districts, the Congress faced a challenge from the Opposition BJP. Assam state election commissioner Biren Dutta, while declaring the results (see chart), today said, “I am very happy that the maiden elections to both the councils passed off peacefully.”
An elated Bhubon Pegu, Ganashakti general secretary and former Jonai MLA, told The Telegraph, “The result is the hard work of 20 years of various Mising groups. The best part is we have received support from all sections from Sadiya to Sonitpur, mainly because of no development in the flood-hit council areas.”
Ronoj Pegu, the Ganashakti leader who won from Dhansiri Disoi (Golaghat district), is set to become the council chief, Pegu said. Ganashakti sources said infighting in the Congress helped their cause.
The result is bad news for state minister and Majuli MLA Rajiv Lochan Pegu, as the party lost all three seats in Majuli subdivision, Congress’s Lakhimpur MP Ranee Narah who played an active role in selection of candidates in her parliamentary constituency and party’s Jonai MLA Pradan Barua, seen to be a part of the anti-Gogoi camp. Ganashakti swept Lakhimpur and Dhemaji districts.
Haren Das, chairperson of the Assam PCC media cell, said, “The Congress has never done well in newly formed councils, whether it is the BTC or Tiwa council. The perception among the electorate that the party was not united may also have harmed our cause but these results will not impact the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.”
Polls held: 34
Sonowal Kachari council
Polls held: 26
Govt nominates 4 members each to the councils