Cong to form high-powered comm to analyse poll defeat in Assam

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Guwahati, May 3 (PTI) The Congress on Monday said it will form a 'high-powered' committee to analyse defeat of the opposition's Grand Alliance and will give suggestions to address the shortcomings.

Addressing a joint press conference by the alliance members, the opposition grouping said the regional front of Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) and Raijor Dal cost them around 10 seats in Upper Assam, which gave a decisive mandate in favour of the NDA.

The Congress-led alliance has bagged 50 seats out of 126, while the BJP-headed ruling front got 75. One seat went to Raijor Dal, which contested as Independent.

'We will form a high-powered committee in consultation with the Grand Alliance. This will evaluate the reasons for our defeat. It will give suggestions on how to improve the things,' All India Congress Committee national general secretary Jitendra Singh said.

The in-charge of Assam Congress alleged that the Election Commission was 'misused' by the BJP and many irregularities were noticed such as unexplained movement of EVMs at several places.

'The people and political parties must have trust on the Election Commission. We will definitely going to question them and take response from the EC,' Singh said.

Taking the responsibility of the defeat, the Congress leader congratulated Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and said that the grand alliance will play the role of a responsible and strong opposition.

When asked if the two newly floated party impacted the prospect of the grand alliance, Singh said, 'It appears that the AJP and Raijor Dal factor also helped the BJP consolidate its position in Upper Assam region.

'We lost around 10 seats due to them. The AJP and Raijor Dal need to do some soul searching on how they ended up helping the very forces that they were seeking to oppose.' Though the tally of the Congress went up by three seats from 26 in 2016 to 29 now, the party lost seven seats by a margin of less than 5,000 votes, he added.

Talking about the resignation of the Assam Congress president Ripun Bora, Singh said he is the most hard working state chief in India and requested him to withdraw it.

'His resignation has not been accepted yet and it is a decision of the high command. I personally request him to continue as his leadership is needed at this time when the state is grappling with COVID-19 pandemic,' he added.

Taking all responsibility, Bora on Sunday resigned as state chief and sent the resignation letter to Congress national president Sonia Gandhi.

Singh further said the Congress will assist the state government in mitigating the coronavirus pandemic challenge faced by the people of the state.

'Lot of people of Assam residing outside have been victims of the pandemic and many more are afflicted. They need urgent help. The government should have a database and extend all help they can from here,' he added. PTI TR SNS SNS