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HindustanTimes Thu,10 Jul 2014

Congress gains majority with 69 seats

Rahul Karmakar/HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Guwahati, May 13, 2011
First Published: 09:58 IST(13/5/2011) | Last Updated: 19:32 IST(13/5/2011)

The Congress won 69 of the 101 seats declared by 4:30pm on Friday to gain majority in the 126-member Assam assembly and register a hat-trick of electoral wins.

Principal rival Asom Gana Parishad won seven seats in its kitty while the BJP bagged four, All India United Democratic Front nine and Bodoland People's Front 12.

The Congress was leading in 11 more seats, the AGP in one, AIUDF in seven and BPF in four.

The AGP and BJP, which were touted to upset Tarun Gogoi's Congress applecart, have fared miserably so far with their presidents being routed.

While AGP president Chandra Mohan Patowary lost his pet Dharmapur seat to the Congress' Nilamani Sen Deka by more than 5000 votes, BJP Assam unit president Ranjit Dutta lost Behali to Congress' Pallav Lochan Das by more than 18,000 votes.

Forest minister Rockybul Hussain of Congress also caused an embarrassment to the AGp by defeating former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta by more than 20,000 votes in Samaguri constituency. Mahanta, however, was leading in the Barhampur seat.

Health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma recorded the highest ever victory margin of 80,000 votes in Assam as he trounced his BJP rival Pradyut Bora in the Jalukbari constituency. Among the other Congress leaders who won decisively were chief minister Tarun Gogoi (Titabor, 16,000 votes) and power minister Pradyut Bordoloi (Margherita, 9000 votes).

A major disappointment for the Congress, however, was the drubbing of cultural affairs minister Bharat Chandra Narah by AGP's Paramananda Doley by more than 7,000 votes. Irrigation minister Nurjamal Sarkar also lost the Biswanath seat to AGP's Prabin Hazarika.

The results so far have been a disappointment for the AGP, BJP and the AIUDF that had been eyeing a grand alliance.

"I had predicted a Congress sweep. I have been proved right," said Gogoi on Friday afternoon.

Former AGP president Brindaban Goswami, however, blamed rigging by the Congress for the outcome.

"The massive margin of victory for Congress candidates points to foul play. We have always maintained EVMs were vulnerable to tampering," he said.


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