Monday, 30th October 2017

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BJP, Congress stars hit campaign trail

The parties have announced a list of 40 star campaigners each for electioneering

By A Staff Reporter in Guwahati
  • Published 14.10.19, 12:27 AM
  • Updated 14.10.19, 1:02 AM
  • 2 mins read
Assam BJP president Ranjeet Kumar Dass campaigns in Jania on Sunday Telegraph Picture

The ruling BJP and the Opposition Congress have lined up a number of bigwigs to campaign in the last leg for the October 21 bypolls in four Assembly constituencies in Assam.

The byelection was necessitated in Sonari, Rangapara, Ratabari and Jania constituencies as the incumbent legislators were elected to the Lok Sabha.

Both the parties have announced a list of 40 star campaigners each for electioneering which is likely to get shriller by the day.

Assam BJP president Ranjeet Kumar Dass and PCC president Ripun Bora set the campaign tone on Sunday.

Dass reached Jania in lower Assam’s Barpeta district by a helicopter, held two meetings, visited shops and households promising development for the constituency if the BJP candidate won.

BJP leaders are sure of winning Sonari, Rangapara and Ratabari and expecting a tough fight in minority-dominated Jania, where it has fielded actor Towfiqur Rahman, an indigenous Muslim from Jorhat. Congress insiders said the party was hopeful of winning Sonari, Ratabari and Jania.

Dass promised the Jania voters that if it won, the BJP would give a plum post to Rahman to help him work for the betterment of the constituency. “I promise you I will work with Rahman for Jania’s development,” he said.

Bora, who was in Sonari in Upper Assam, reminded Dass how he had once compared the demography of Jania with that of Bangladesh. “You had once said that if someone visits Jania, he would feel like being in Bangladesh. Now why are you contesting from Jania?” he asked. Bora, who recently rounded up his campaign tour at Ratabari, told voters about the alleged failures of the BJP in fulfilling its development promises, pushing the economy into the doldrums and working to bring the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

In Sonari, Rangapara and Ratabari, which have a decisive tea community population, the BJP is banking on what it had done for the community like distribution of free rice, sugar and medicines, construction of roads in gardens and depositing Rs 5,000 in the bank accounts of workers.

The Congress is also approaching the tea community with the message that it wants them to be politically empowered and telling them how the BJP had failed to introduce the minimum daily wage.

Besides Dass, the BJP’s campaign will be headed by chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, cabinet minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Union minister Rameswar Teli. AICC Assam in-charge Harish Rawat will arrive here on Monday to take part in a series of meetings. Party insiders said barring Rawat, the party’s campaign will be carried on by state leaders like former chief minister Tarun Gogoi, leader of the Opposition Debabrata Saikia, Rakibul Hussain and Pradyut Bordoloi.