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Gogoi confident of Congress hat-trick

india Updated: Apr 11, 2011 15:05 IST
Rahul Karmakar
Rahul Karmakar
Hindustan Times
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Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi is confident of Congress retaining power for the second straight term.

No party has ever scored a hat-trick of poll victory in Assam.

"The results (for Congress) will be as bright as today's weather," Gogoi said after casting his vote in in Jorhat, 310 km east of Guwahati. He was alluding to the sunny day that followed several days of intermittent rainfall.

"We will get more seats than the 2006 elections and form the government on our own. But we are keen on continuing the alliance with the BPF (Bodoland Peoples' Front)," he said.

The Congress had won 53 seats in 2006 (the number increased to 64 after defections from other parties), and short of the simple majority mark of 64 in the 126-member House, formed the government with the 10-member BPF.

However, the Congress and BPF decided against an electoral tie-up and contested each other in 30 seats of western and central-western Assam where elections would be held in phase 2.

Asked if he would be the chief minister again if Congress retains power, Gogoi said it would depend on the decision of the High Command in consultation with elected legislators of the party.

"The reason why Congress has won every election in Assam since the 1998 (Lok Sabha) is that the people know which party is honest about serving them best," said the chief minister. "The unprecedented development initiatives have helped us be on a winning streak. But we have a long way to go."

Gogoi further said the Asom Gana Parishad and BJP - the Congress' principal rivals - were confused. "Do I need to say anything? They have admitted that they won't be able to form a government on their own," he said, lauding the people for defying a rebel threat to exercise their franchise in large numbers.