The ruling Congress party in Assam created a history of sorts on Sunday by holding more than 18,500 meetings across the state as it kicked off its campaign for the 2011 state assembly elections, in which the party hopes to score a hat-trick.
A Congress party spokesperson said a total of 18,828 public meetings were held across the state on Sunday aimed at reaching the grassroots workers ahead of the 2011 assembly elections.
"We know we are going to win the elections for the third time, but then we thought of involving our grassroots workers to ensure that all of them work together for the overall development of the state," Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told journalists after attending one of the meetings in his home constituency of Jorhat in eastern Assam.
The idea to hold grassroots level meetings in block Congress booths was aimed at reaching the party workers and supporters to spread the message of the ruling government's schemes and projects undertaken during its tenure since 2001.
"We have created history, a record of sorts, by holding 18,828 meetings in a single day. The meetings were highly successful with the supporters and workers greatly enthused," Congress party spokesperson Haren Das said.
Assam Congress party president Bhubaneswar Kalita said the party is ready to hold elections even if it is held at an early date.
Elections are due in May 2011.
"No matter when the elections are held, we are ready to face the people. We know the Congress government since 2001 changed the entire landscape of Assam with allround development taking place," Kalita said.
With the opposition in Assam a fractured lot and the main opposition Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) in a shambles following successive electoral defeats, the ruling Congress party is in an upbeat mood.
The AGP lost the state polls in 2001, then again in 2006, besides facing humiliating defeats in local elections earlier this year. More recently, the AGP also lost two by-elections to the state assembly.
The AGP-Bharatiya Janata Party alliance in the last parliamentary polls failed to yield result as the AGP won just one seat compared to two seats the party won in 2004.