March 6, 2021 8:22:08 pm
At a time when the Congress is locked in a bitter tussle with the DMK over seat sharing in Tamil Nadu, trouble is brewing in the party in Assam as well over allocation of seats to partner AIUDF.
There were tense scenes and slogan shouting by a section of the party workers at the Congress office Saturday in Guwahati in the presence of party chief Ripun Bora and Mahila Congress national president Sushmita Dev. Sources said Dev is upset over allocation of some seats to the AIUDF in her stronghold of Barak Valley.
Of the 15 Assembly seats in Barak Valley, comprising Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi districts , the Congress had won three last time, while the AIUDF had won four. All the three seats in Hailakandi were won by AIUDF last time and the party is claiming all three as part of the seat-sharing deal.
Sources said the Congress leadership has agreed to allocate all the three seats to the AIUDF.
This has angered the Congress workers in the district. Last time, the Congress had come fourth in one seat, third in another and finished second one seat. “If all the seats in a district are given to some other party, the Congress organisation there will die,” a leader said.
Sources said Dev’s supporters reached the Congress office and protested against giving all the three seats in the district to the AIUDF. Many of the leaders threatened they would resign from the party.
The situation turned tense when Dev arrived for a scheduled meeting and sources said she had to ask her supporters to leave She also left with them after a heated conversation with the PCC president, leading to speculation that she had walked out of the Congress office and was contemplating resignation from the party.
When contacted, Dev told The Indian Express that “I never threatened to resign. It is not true. Some of my supporters were threatening to resign…I was standing there. I never threatened to resign.
The Assam Congress too issued a statement. “It has been brought to the notice of the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee that speculative news about resignation of President, All India Mahila Congress Sushmita Dev is doing the rounds on television and web portals. We want to make it clear that Ms Sushmita Dev has not resigned from the party,” said Bobbeeta Sharma, the head of the Assam Congress media department, in a statement.
The tense scenes came amid reports that the grand alliance in Assam has finalized the seat sharing arrangement. While there was no official confirmation, sources said the Congress has agreed to give 21 seats to the AIUDF.
The Anchalik Gana Morcha (AGM) and the CPM will contest in two seats each and the CPI and CPI (ML) will contest in one each. One leader said talks are still on specific seats. “They are asking for some critical seats which are very difficult for the Congress to give up,” a senior leader. The AIUDF had won 13 out of the 74 seats it had contested last time garnering a vote share of 13.05 per cent.
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