Congress heavyweight and Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi filed his nomination papers on Friday from Titabor constituency in Jorhat district of the state and said his party, which is facing a stiff competition from the BJP, will win with an absolute majority.
Gogoi filed his papers on the last day for filing nominations for first of the two-phased assembly elections on April 4 after conducting a road show in Titabor town.
Voting will be held for 65 of the 126 assembly constituencies spread across Barak Valley, the two hill districts of Dima Hasao and Karbi Anglong, besides upper Assam in the Brahmaputra Valley during the first phase.
“We will have an absolute majority. To have an absolute majority, a party must win at least 64 seats. We will win more than 64 seats,” Gogoi said.
Gogoi has been representing the Titabor assembly constituency since 2001. The Congress has formed the government for three consecutive times under Gogoi’s leaderships in the state.
“I had no intention to contest in this assembly election but the high command wanted me to lead the party again. Rahul Gandhi even announced that Tarun Gogoi is the Congress’ chief ministerial candidate. So, abiding (by the) party high command’s order, I am seeking people’s mandate again,” the 80-year-old leader said.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has decided to field Kamakhya Prasad Tasa, its Jorhat MP, against the Congress stalwart in Titabar constituency. The saffron party has fielded Tasa with a game plan to keep the chief minister busy in his home constituency. In last Lok Sabha elections, the BJP candidate got a huge number of votes in the Titabor assembly segment.
The BJP candidate from Titabor constituency also filed his nomination papers on Friday.
The national party is focusing on the northeastern state and hopes to counter the RSS-backed BJP that has made inroads into Congress strongholds. The BJP had won in all the five parliamentary constituencies in the upper and northern Assam belt during the last Lok Sabha polls.
The Congress has been facing stiff challenges from the BJP in the entire upper Assam region.
On Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s forthcoming visit to the state for the BJP’s election campaign, Gogoi said even the PM would not help the main rival party’s prospects in Assam.
“Modi is a good marketer. He has good marketing strategy but products are hollow. Modi made many promises to the people of Assam during the Lok Sabha election two years ago but after assuming power at the Centre, he made U-turn on all crucial issues concerned to the state. There is no Modi magic in the country now,” Gogoi said.
For the first phase of campaign, Modi would visit the state on March 26 and 27. He would address a total of six election rallies on both the days. On March 26, Modi would address a BJP rally at Majuli in Jorhat district from where BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Sarbananda Sonowal is contesting.
The second phase of the polls will include 61 constituencies and will begin on April 11.