PCC post-mortem on Jania bypoll
The Assam Congress leaders on Friday were of the opinion that their failure to counter alleged misinterpreted news in a section of media about former chief minister Tarun Gogoi’s stand on the National Register of Citizens (NRC) led to the party’s loss in Jania byelection.
The party on Friday held a daylong review meeting here about the poll debacle it faced in all the four constituencies it had contested in the recent byelection. The party failed to retain the Jania seat which was represented by its leader Abdul Khaleque.
Sources in the party said Khaleque, now Barpeta MP, alleged in the meeting that Gogoi’s remark that the NRC would be a wastepaper, had a wide repercussion in the minority-dominated constituency.
Most of the people in Jania felt relieved when their names were in the final NRC and reportedly got tense after Gogoi’s “wastepaper” remark about the NRC.
“The other party leaders opposed Khaleque. They pointed out that according to Gogoi the NRC would be a wastepaper if the Citizenship Amendment Bill is passed in the Parliament. They said the party leaders failed to carry the correct message to the people and counter misquoted news in a section of the media,” said a source in the party.
Gogoi, however, was not in the meeting. He was in New Delhi for a health check-up.
Gogoi was not seen in election campaigns in the Jania byelection. The party lost the constituency to Badruddin Ajmal-led All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF). The constituency had drawn the attention of poll observers as the ruling BJP had also done its best to wrest it.
The review meeting was attended by PCC president Ripun Bora, leader of the Opposition in Assam legislative Assembly Debabrata Saikia along with other senior party leaders like Rakibul Hussain and Sarat Borkataky.
The party decided to further improve its performance in Sonari and Ratabari constituencies where it performed better than the Lok Sabha election held a few months ago.
The PCC also decided to gherao the Guwahati branch of the Reserve Bank of India on November 6 as a protest against the Centre’s alleged mishandling of the country’s economy.