Assam: Trinamool Congress plans ‘dhamaka’ in 2021
GUWAHATI: Trinamool Congress (TMC) has vowed to form the government in Assam in 2021 and has started testing the waters by contesting in the currently ensuing panchayat polls. But observers feel that there might be a long-term hidden strategy of the party.
The present chairman of the Assam Pradesh Trinamool Congress (APTC), Gopi Nath Das, talking to G Plus said, “In 2021 there will be a dhamaka (blast) in Assam and TMC will play an important role in forming the government.” Das said that TMC will contest from all the seats in Assam even in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
On enquiring, if TMC is planning for a Bengali chief minister in Assam, Das seemed to put on act of annoyance questioning, “Who told you?” He said that it will be the legislature that will decide who should be the chief minister. However, Das did not completely reject the question. He said, “We will contest the elections in 2021 and Assam will see a change.”
Talking to G Plus, a political observer under condition of anonymity said, “TMC is spending a lot of money in Assam to build its image. Moreover, with the issues of National Register of Citizens (NRC) and Citizenship (Amendment) Bill making the rounds, TMC wants to play communal politics by wooing the Bengali voters.” The source further confirmed that after the recent killings of five people in Tinsukia, TMC had sent its team to the spot with a purpose.
The source explained that if TMC makes its presence felt in the state by 2021 and wins even 25 seats in the Bengali dominated areas of the state, with an alliance with AIUDF and Congress Party, a Bengali chief minister taking charge of the state is a distinct possibility.
TMC is known for communal politics in West Bengal and in national politics. Two states that the party could target are Assam and Tripura after West Bengal because of the huge Bengali population in these states, the source expressed.
Meanwhile, several socio-cultural organisations of Bengali Hindus in Assam plan to field Bengali candidates in all 14 constituencies in the state in the Lok Sabha elections of 2019. A team of representatives from Bengali organisations in Assam and West Bengal met West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on November 1 to have a preliminary discussion. Accordingly, the groups are working on the strategy.
TMC fields 179 candidates in panchayat polls; tests its strength
Assam Pradesh Trinamool Congress (APTC) fielded 179 candidates in the ongoing panchayat elections and it is just the beginning of a political plan it has for Assam.
APTC president (minority cell) Asraful Arif Sikdhar, talking to G Plus said, “179 candidates are fielded in the panchayat elections after a thorough ground work. We are hopeful that all these candidates will win because the candidates were given tickets after calculating their chances of winning the elections.”
The party fielded candidates in districts like Hailakandi, Cachar, Barpeta, Dhubri, Sonitpur, Goalpara, Kamrup (Rural), Nalbari, Dholeswar and so on.
Most of the areas selected by the party for fielding the candidates are Bengali (both Hindu and Muslim) dominated.
Sikdhar said that the membership of TMC is increasing in Assam and the panchayat election is a big test for the party. By the 2019 Lok Sabha elections the party will be seen as a major political party in Assam, a TMC source claimed.
TMC roping in retired teachers to join the party
The Assam Pradesh Trinamool Congress (APTC) is trying to influence all the retired academicians and teachers to join the party and especially Bengali academicians and teachers.
A source in one university of the state, talking to G Plus said, “Trinamool Congress (TMC) is trying to rope in retired teachers for strengthening the party.” The source said that in Barak Valley many retired teachers have already met the party senior leaders and will soon officially join the party.
The source said that for 2019 Lok Sabha elections the TMC will field prominent teachers of many constituencies and it seems the party has already selected its candidate from Silchar constituency.
The teacher is a retired professor from Assam University, the source revealed.
Similarly, Didi’s (West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee) party is also in talks with some teachers in Guwahati and accordingly the candidates will be given tickets.
TMC is likely to contest from all the 14 Lok Sabha seats and the enrolment process is going on in full swing.