Assam chief minister confident about vote

Congress faces no real opposition, he says

By Ajay Jha

New Delhi: Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi on Friday exuded confidence about his Congress party emerging victorious yet again in the upcoming state legislative assembly elections.

Assam along with four other states is scheduled to go to the polls starting next month.

"There is no opposition in the state. AGP [Asom Gana Parishad] and BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] are in bad shape. We defeated them in [2009] Lok Sabha elections and will do it again," Gogoi said while interacting with media at the Press Club of India.

The autonomous election commission has announced two-phased polling in Assam, which has been under Congress rule for the past ten years with Gogoi as the chief minister.

Gogoi's confidence about a non-existent opposition in the state, however, is not shared by the central leadership of the Congress party.

Results of an internal survey conducted by a professional agency show that the party may end up winning just 42 seats in the 126-member state assembly, compared to 65 seats the AGP-BJP combine which will get the present opposition simple majority.

The only way the party can emerge victorious is if it forms an alliance with the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF).