AJP, Raijor Dal factor helped BJP: Jitendra Singh

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Cong rejects Ripun’s resignation; asks him to serve as APCC chief

HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, May 3: The newly-floated political parties Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) and Raijor Dal helped BJP in sweeping the assembly elections, former Union minister and All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Jitendra Singh said here on Monday a day after party’s debacle in the elections.

“It appears that the AJP and Raijor Dal factor also helped the BJP consolidate its position in Upper Assam. 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,” Singh said.

Singh, who is also in-charge of Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC), said Congress-led grand alliance will play the role of proactive opposition in the House.

“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,” Singh said.

Prior to the state polls, Congress though extended offers to both Rajior Dal and AJP to join hands, the latter rejected the offer. Both the parties had said that they would fight for reviving regionalism in the state without the support of any national party.

Surprisingly, though all the non-BJP parties made the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) a poll plank to dethrone BJP from Dispur, it did not work. As per BJP, its welfare agenda has overrun the opposition’s planning.

Earlier, senior BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma also said that the creation of the two regional fronts would divide the anti-CAA votes.

“In terms of vote-share, the gap between the two alliances is not very big. We have to now analyse the election results with a view to do better in future elections. In terms of seats, the tally of the Congress went up by 3 seats (from 26 in 2016 to 29 now). We lost 7 seats by a margin of fewer 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,” Singh also said.

He added that the Opposition parties would extend all their support to the government in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. It also suggested the state government would create a data bank of Assamese people living in other states who have been infected by the virus.

The Congress also appealed to the winning BJP to fulfil its electoral promises in order to create more jobs and employment opportunities.

Meanwhile, the AICC has rejected the resignation letter submitted by APCC president Ripun Bora and directed him to serve the state as the president of the party.

Bora who faced a humiliating defeat on Sunday in the state election resigned from his post immediately after the debacle.

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