In poll-bound Assam where after the BJP took a clear lead in the build-up for the election two months away through public meetings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah with several new projects and even a sharp cut of fuel prices, the main opposition Congress is catching up with its first campaign – “Assam Bachao Yatra”. Congress leaders are taking bus ride across the state to meet voters, setting the tone for the electoral battle.
At Guwahati’s Lachitghat, on the banks of the Brahmaputra on Saturday, Congress Deputy Leader in Lok Sabha Gaurav Gogoi dressed in a traditional attire declared the dual raising of the traditional sword called Hengdang.
In Guwahati, Mr Gogoi led an “Assam Bachao bus yatra” and three other such yatras are happening as part of the party’s first campaign in Assam.
Congress leaders would criss-cross the state to recharge their core voters, though the party has formed an alliance with five other outfits including Badaruddin Ajmal’s AIUDF.
“This yatra is to give a call to the people to come out and help us save Assam, to give voice to the issues concerning people that have been muzzled by the BJP, even the fuel price is an issue for us still,” Mr Gogoi told NDTV.
The ruling BJP has already taken a lead in campaigns with two visits of both PM Modi and Mr Shah, and a slew of new measures ahead of the polls such as the latest rollback of fuel prices and liquor tax cut.
“When COVID-19 cases were on the higher side in Assam, we had imposed excess tax in fuel and liquor. Now in present situation COVID-19 cases are less and in the health sector we are in lesser expense mode. So the cabinet decided to withdraw Rs 5 excess tax from fuel and 25 per cent tax from liquor,” Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.
While the BJP has held more high-profile meetings and rallies already, the Congress is building up with this yatra and party MP Rahul Gandhi’s first campaign meeting for Assam election is scheduled on Sunday.