GUWAHATI: With the day of the results drawing near, the Congress has shepherded its Assam candidates to a resort at picturesque Sonapur on the outskirts of Guwahati.
The basic idea is to keep the flock together and away from poachers. The March-April polls were keenly contested between the BJP-led ruling coalition and the Congress-led 10-party grand alliance of the Opposition.
The Congress is more or less convinced the ruling alliance has been rejected by the people and it is not going to get a majority.
Congress spokesperson Bobbeeta Sarma said, “It is an internal matter of the party that they (candidates) want to stay together for a few days in an environment of relaxation.”
However, the party’s three-time Mariani MLA Rupjyoti Kurmi claimed the BJP had started sending feelers to one or two candidates.
“Somebody may ask why we are doing this but one must recall how things had unfolded in Goa and Manipur where the BJP had formed the government by buying Congress MLAs. It has started sending feelers to one or two Assam Congress candidates,” he claimed.
“The BJP will try and threaten the MLAs from Opposition parties by saying that they will be implicated in some case. It will also try to lure them with money. This brand of politics has to be stopped,” Kurmi said.
He said the people of Punjab, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh had rejected the BJP and it would meet a similar fate in Assam.
“The BJP has already suffered a big jolt in the elections. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had fielded their own candidates,” the Congress MLA said, suggesting the BJP had not fielded consensus candidates.
Exuding confidence that the Opposition alliance will capture power, he said Congress would give respect to each and every candidate.
“Someone will become the CM and others will become ministers and chairmen of boards and corporations. Some others will be given responsibilities in the party,” Kurmi asserted.
He said the candidates lodged at the Dichang resort were being convinced by the Congress leaders that the grand alliance would form the government with absolute majority.
Over the next few days, the Congress candidates will take part in poetry recitation, dance and singing competitions.
“It’s good that the resort has a gym. I have a two-pack abs and I will try to make it six-pack by fully utilising my time,” Kurmi said with a grin.