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Home / North-east / Assam Elections 2021: Congress shifts its candidates to resort

Assam Elections 2021: Congress shifts its candidates to resort

The move is fuelled largely by the perceived threat of poaching by the ruling BJP if the recently concluded polls throws up a less than a decisive verdict on May 2
The Congress had earlier flown AIUDF candidates to Rajasthan but they returned last Friday following a surge in Covid-19 cases.

Umanand Jaiswal   |   Guwahati   |   Published 23.04.21, 02:00 AM

The Opposition Congress on Thursday started shifting its candidates to a resort near Guwahati to “instil a sense of belonging” to the party.

The move is fuelled largely by the perceived threat of poaching by the ruling BJP if the recently concluded keenly contested three-phase Assembly polls throws up a less than a decisive verdict on May 2.

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Till evening, 70 of the party’s candidates have checked in at the resort where it has booked 97 rooms. Assam has 126 Assembly seats.

“The remaining 25 will check in tomorrow (Friday). Candidates of our ally All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) will also start checking in from tomorrow (Friday). Candidates of our other ally —  the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) — will be staying separately,” a Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) leader said.

Several senior leaders The Telegraph spoke to said they have checked in to “relax” after months of campaigning, “know each other” and prepare for May 2 counting day and beyond.

They said it was important to instil a sense of belonging in our candidates as well as candidates fielded by our allies as the senior partner.

The Congress had earlier flown AIUDF candidates to Rajasthan but they returned last Friday following a surge in Covid-19 cases. BPF candidates had gone to Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh.

The Congress-led grand alliance or mahajot has 10 parties.

The move comes in less than a week of the Congress holding a meeting of senior leaders and candidates at a hotel near Guwahati.

“Though from the same party (Congress) most of us don’t know each other. This stay will help us to know each other, know what the party expects from us and also share our expectations. The focus will be on what the party will do and can do unitedly… which was seen during the campaign. Despite differences, all senior leaders spoke in one language," a PCC leader said.

An All India Congress Committee (AICC) leader told The Telegraph that it was also a preventive step against the ruling BJP after what it had done in Manipur, Goa and Madhya Pradesh to “manipulate” the people’s mandate.

“The party leadership is proactively reaching out to candidates. The party leadership believes more such inclusive interactions will instil confidence and a sense of belonging to the party. We want to send the message that we are prepared for any eventuality, something which we are accused of not doing in Manipur and Goa despite finishing as the single largest party," he said.

The Congress had earlier this month moved the Election Commission requesting a slew of directives to “maintain transparency, impartiality for fair and smooth counting of votes", including seeking access/link of the CCTV surveillance of the strong rooms to all the contesting candidates because they fear that the ruling BJP “may go to any extent to manipulate the mandate” of the Assembly polls.



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