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BJP leaders drawing large crowds in upper Assam
STAFF correspondent
 DIBRUGARH, March 31 – With party heavyweights taking turns for the political campaign in the region in the run up to the Assembly polls on April 4, among all the political parties, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been at the forefront in drawing larger crowds during political rallies followed by the Indian National Congress. The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) camp and other political groups are however, yet to make spirited campaigns.

Star campaigners for the BJP – bollywood actress and BJP MP Hema Malini, national BJP president Nitin Gadkari, senior leader Arun Jaitley, Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar Sushil Modi and senior leader Lal Krishna Advani already campaigned for the party candidates in the district of Dibrugarh, Tinsukia and Sivasagar. Dynamic student leader turned politician, Sarbananda Sonowal who shifted allegiance from AGP to BJP recently has also given a boost to the growing popularity of the saffron party.

In tea garden belts, the BJP is relying on the popularity of former ATTSA leaders – Kamakhya Prasad Tasa and Sanjay Kishan. Tasa is contesting from 124 Margherita LAC and Sanjay Kishan is a candidate from 122 Tinsukia LAC.

The huge electorates from the tea estates in Upper Assam play a major role in deciding the fate of contesting candidates. It needs to be mentioned here that irrespective of religion, tea garden workers have been traditionally the diehard supporters of the Congress.

The party has also roped in Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda to campaign for the party in a bid to woo the voters from the tea gardens, Kamakhya Prasad Tasa told this newspaper. Arjun Munda is expected to address rallies tomorrow in Margherita and Tinsukia.

Going by the congregation at Tinsukia and Kutuha within Moran LAC during the political campaigning of ‘dream girl’ Hema Malini on March 23 and at Naharkatia on March 29 with BJP president Nitin Gadkari as the star campaigner, besides Tingkhong and Margherita with senior BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani today, the tea garden votes will be decisive for the assembly polls in most of the constituencies in the region.

Meanwhile, the Indian National Congress has been making maximum use of available local resources within the state to address rallies for their party candidates. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Bhubaneshwar Kalita, Health and Family Welfare Minister Himanta Bishwa Sarma, besides Dibrugarh MP and Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha president Paban Singh Ghatowar have been touring constituiencies to campaign for the party.

The Chief Minister addressed huge rallies in Godapani in Dibrugarh and Tingkhong yesterday. He also addressed rallies in other constituencies in the neighbouring districts. Himanta Biswa Sarma also attracted huge crowds at Tingkhong on March 28 and at Mahamara on March 27 recently.

The AGP, which is still to recuperate from the shock after Sarbananda Sonowal, former Dibrugarh MP deserted them couple of months ago, is organising rallies on their own capacities, trying to cover maximum panchayats in their respective LACs all by themselves.

Former AGP president of Dibrugarh district, Anup Phukan said that they have been maintaining a very low profile but are confident of emerging victorious. “We have invited tea garden leader and Sonitpur MP Jospeh Toppo and another leader Durga Das Boro to help us in our campiagn,” he said.

Much was speculated about the coming of Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Bannerjee, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader Shibu Soren, besides leftists leaders from West Bengal but no confirmation has been received so far.

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