GUWAHATI, June 15 – By August the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Assam Pradesh is likely to identify the seats in the tea belt where it has strong chances against the Congress in the coming Assembly elections.
With the tea belt always considered as a traditional Congress bastion, the BJP is concentrating on strengthening its base in the areas dominated by the tea tribes. In the last Assembly elections, the saffron party had fielded eight candidates from the tea community. President of the State BJP’s Tea Cell, Siba Prosahad Bodra
disclosed that if the organisational strength of the party improves at the desired rate, the cell would propose more names from the tea tribes this time.
It needs to be mentioned here that the party has embarked on a mission to identify the problems in the tea belt and on completion of the work, the party would discuss the problems with Nitin Gadkari, national president of the BJP to chalk out a strategy to pressurize the government for solution of the problems.
“The tea belt has been ignored by the Congress government. We are at the moment targeting the tea tribe- dominated areas, identifying the major problems in the tea garden areas and pushing our membership drive,” said Bodra, claiming that the party has received good response to its membership drive.
Bodra said that one of the main problems in the tea garden areas is that majority of the members of the tea community, though languishing in extreme poverty, have not been included in the BPL list which has deprived them of the benefits of the Public Distribution System (PDS) and other schemes meant for the welfare of the poor. This and other problems that have hindered the development of the tea tribes would be used as a weapon by the party in the Assembly elections.
The party has undertaken a survey in the tea garden areas to assess how many families have not been included in the BPL list and this work Bodra said, would be completed in July.
On the other hand, the party has also decided to submit a memorandum to the State Government demanding solution of the problems of the tea community.