Guwahati, Thursday, September 17, 2020
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No anti-incumbency against govt, says BJP
PRANJAL BHUYAN
 GUWAHATI, Sept 16 - The ruling BJP believes that there is no anti-incumbency against the Sarbananda Sonowal-led State government and asserted that the newly formed Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) will not be able to make any dent on the prospects of the saffron party in the 2021 Assembly elections.

 “We are well ahead of our rivals in the race for the 2021 polls. There is no anti-incumbency against us. Our government’s social welfare schemes have benefited lakhs of families. Our party has a highly trained cadre base comprising over 42 lakh members in Assam,” State BJP vice president Jayanta Das told this newspaper on Wednesday.

He claimed that the ruling party is “not at all concerned” with the emergence of the new political outfit floated by AASU and AJYCP.

“With the next elections only six-seven months away, will the AJP be able to build its organisation at the district and mandal levels to face the polls? The BJP’s base extends up to the grassroots. We have more than 28,000 booth committees. Our party has even appointed 3.5 lakh page in-charges, with one individual cadre of the BJP being responsible for maintaining contact with voters whose names figure in one particular page of the electoral list,” Das said.

He added, “Hardly two days have passed since the name of the new outfit was announced and already the KMSS has come out all guns blazing against the AJP. Besides, AJP is not the only new party to have emerged in the State’s political scene recently. Both Ajit Kumar Bhuyan and Arup Borbora have also formed their own outfits. So, on one hand are these newly formed outfits which are all fragmented. And, on the other hand is the BJP which has lakhs of hardcore trained cadres and crores of dedicated voters.”

He claimed that the anti-BJP stand of the AJP will eventually end up helping the ruling alliance.

“The more they (AJP) attack us, the more they will themselves get exposed. Our party commands the support of the ‘rainbow alliance’ comprising the indigenous communities of Assam and the genuine Indian citizens who reside in the State. If the AJP targets us while sparing parties like the Congress and the AIUDF who patronise illegal immigrants, then voters will easily understand the real intentions of the new party,” Das said.

When pointed out that the AJP is primarily looking to gain support of the Assamese-speaking voters, as well as the electorate belonging to various tribal and other indigenous communities, which had backed the BJP during recent few elections, Das admitted that the saffron party faced some backlash among those voter segments during last year’s anti-CAA agitation.

“However, the impact was minor and it proved to be short-lived. Our support among the indigenous communities is now solid and we are not worried about losing that to the AJP or any other party,” said the State BJP vice president.

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