Assam assembly polls: Targeting 100-plus seats: PM Modi visit soon, BJP chalks out poll plans

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GUWAHATI: The ruling BJP in Assam has worked out a road map for the party for the next 60 days as the state gears up for assembly polls mostly likely in April. BJP is targeting to win 100-plus seats in the 126-member assembly.

BJP national president JP Nadda and national general secretary BL Santosh held core committee and election committee meetings of the party on Monday in Guwahati. “On January 23, the PM is expected to come to Assam and on January 24 Union Home minister Amit Shah will address a rally in Kokrajhar and Nalbari. Along with Nadda ji we worked out a detailed roadmap for the next 60 days. There were discussions on manifesto, vision document,” said Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. He said the party has worked out a strategy to counter the proposed alliance of the Congress and All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF). Nadda said that gauging by the sentiments of the people, the BJP hopes to get another term.

Sarma said, “Every week till the elections, I will hold cycle rallies in two different constituencies. We do not want any more MLAs from the Congress for they cannot get a ticket in the BJP. Despite that, if anyone wants to join, they can join as workers.”He asserted that there was no “old and new BJP”. “Though there will be new faces in the assembly polls, workers’ minds will be gauged and their winnability will be assessed before giving a ticket. We had preliminary discussions with the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) on continuing with the alliance. However, formal announcements pertaining to seats will be made next month,” he said.

Sarma said the BJP has a definite plan to counter the Congress and AIUDF. “I have a feeling that the Congress and AIUDF may go for a secret pact rather than formal alliance,” he said. “In seats where there is 80% Muslim population, both Congress and AIUDF may contest. In seats which has 50%-80% Muslim population, there will be an understanding and in seats with 50% Muslim population, there will be a secret understanding between the two parties. However, we have a strategy in place to counter these parties in all these formats.” He said the Congress is likely to appoint a chairman for the campaign and election committees by next week.

When asked how he knows about this, he said: “I had been there for 22 years. So, if I do not have my people there where will I have people.” Sarma left Congress in 2015.

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