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No 'mahajot' in Assam but Congress trying for 'maha-understanding' among secular parties: Tarun Gogoi

Raj Singh 22 Jan 2016, 15:56:37 IST
Raj Singh

New Delhi: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today ruled out any possiblity of Congress party entering into pre-poll alliance with any other political party for the upcoming Assembly elections in the state.

The three-term Chief Minister, however, said that the party was open to 'grand understanding' with secular parties. Explaining the meaning of 'grand-understanding', Gogoi said that Congress and like-minded secular parties would ask the electorate not to vote for BJP under any circumstance.

"No 'mahajot'  in Assam, as of now. Congress will go it alone but I am in favour of 'grand understanding' between secular parties. No seat sharing. Maha-understanding means to tell voters that vote for us, don't vote for BJP," he said while admitting that all parties are facing tough challenge in the state.

When the 'Mahagathbandhan' (Grand Alliance), of which the Congress is a part, won the Bihar Assembly polls, several Congress leaders including Gogoi had suggested that 'anti-BJP forces' should form an alliance in Assam and other state assembly elections too.
Gogoi's latest statement puts an end to speculation that the Congress, Badruddin Ajmal's AIDUF and the AGP may come together to contest the upcoming Assembly polls.

Accusing the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of misleading people, the Chief Minister said, "All sorts of propaganda is going against us and even PM is indulging in the same. PM was also CM of Gujarat, can he say he achieved everything? Why did BJP lose in panchayat elections."

"There is no anti-incumbency in Assam. Anti- incumbency arises where no work has been done. I don't rule out a little bit of incumbency because nobody is perfect," he added.

Lashing out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for criticising his predecessor Manmohan Singh, Gogoi said, "Instead of concentrating on internal affairs, PM is focussing more on external affairs. He prefers to meet NRIs than our own people. When PM Modi came to Assam, he attacked Manmohan Singh. I have never seen an incumbent PM criticising his predecessor. Who gave Assam the  IIT? It was Manmohan Singh."

"Modi is not behaving as dignified PM. My personal relation with PM Modi is very good. I like his company but I want deliverance for Assam," he further said.

When asked about media reports suggesting that Congress may rope in political strategist Prashant Kishor for devising electoral strategy in Assam, he said.

"No support has been sought from Prashant Kishor. We will take advice of our local people only," Gogoi said.

When asked who will be the face of Congress in the elections, Gogoi said, "Everybody's face will be therein election campaign and I will be the captain ."

The Assam Chief Minister also hinted that the upcoming elections will be a direct conterst between him and PM Modi.

"Modi is General of BJP and I am General of Congress. So it is a fight between me and him," he added.

Gogoi also took potshot at the BJP for lacking a credible face in the state.

" The BJP has no credible party face in the state. Even Sarbananda Sonowal, Assam BJP chief, is an import from AGP," Gogoi said.

Elections to the 126 member Assam assembly is expected to be held in April-May.