The opposition Congress in Assam failed to cash in on issues related to the Narendra Modi government’s demonetisation move in the campaign for the Lakhimpur Lok Sabha bypoll slated for Saturday, with the ruling BJP focusing on the alleged cash-for-jobs scam in the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC) — the current members of which were appointed during the previous regime.
The bypoll was necessitated due to the resignation of then Union sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who opted to become an MLA and take over as the Chief Minister of Assam.
The Congress, which had initially raised the issue of price rise and the failure of the Modi and Sonowal governments in fulfilling campaign promises, could not counter the BJP’s allegations that the APSC had become a jobs market under the patronage of the Congress regime.
The APSC has been in the news for the past two weeks after the police arrested a government officer for taking bribes allegedly on behalf of its chairman Rakesh Kumar Paul. Several others, including Paul, were arrested later.
Though the Congress did make an attempt to hit back at the BJP over the demonetisation and currency shortage issue, the BJP began comparing the Congress with the now obsolete Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes, with senior minister Himanta Biswa Sarma saying that people had discarded the Congress months before they returned the notes.