File photo of Assam Congress leaders

The Congress on May 3 claimed that two new local parties – the Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) and the Raijor Dal (RD) – dented its vote in the Assam assembly elections.

General Secretary in-charge of Assam, Jitendra Singh said that AJP and RD factor also helped the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party to consolidate its position in eastern Assam, where polling was held in the first phase in 47 seats on March 27.

“The AJP and Raijor Dal need to do some soul searching on how they ended up helping the very forces that they were seeking to oppose,” he told the media.

The RD and the AJP came up as a consequence of the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act agitations that started in Assam and other Northeast states in November 2019.

The Congress leader said that in terms of seats, the tally of the Congress went up by three seats (from 26 in 2016 to 29 now this time). “We lost seven seats by a margin of less than 5,000 votes. AIUDF, BPF and the Left parties remain our valued allies and we would continue to fight for the welfare of the people,” he added.

“We are given the role of a responsible and strong opposition with about 50 seats in the house of 126. We shall strive to do our duty in the best interest of the people of Assam. We will continue to voice the challenges being faced by the people of Assam and will always fight for their rights.”

Assam state Congress president Ripun Bora, Lok Sabha members Pradyut Bordoloi and Gaurav Gogoi and other leaders of the grand alliance sought to explain how the BJP “misled” the voters during the poll campaign.

Bora, who is a Rajya Sabha member, himself also lost the election in the Gohpur assembly seat to BJP’s Utpal Borah by a margin of 29,294 votes, and submitted his resignation on May 2 night taking moral responsibility for the party’s defeat.

The Congress and its ally All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) won 29 and 16 seats respectively improving upon their 2016 performance by three seats each. Of other partners of the “Mahajot”, the Bodoland Peoples Front (BPF) got four seats and the Communist Party of India-Marxist won one seat.

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