The newly appointed in-charge of Congress for Assam and former Uttarakhand chief minister, Harish Rawat has said the party will increase its parliamentary seat tally in the state from three to 11 in the Lok Sabha polls.
“The assessment is that we can increase our seat count to two digit numbers. We should be able to improve our tally from three to 11 in 2019. After all, Assam is the maika (paternal home) of Congress and it will spring back,” TOI quoted Rawat as saying.
Rawat, who is arriving here on Thursday for meeting with the state Congress leaders after his appointment, ruled out the allegation that the party is riddled with factionalism.
“There is nothing like factionalism or internal differences within Assam Congress. There are many good and capable leaders in the state who have contributed immensely towards the growth of the party. I am confident each of their strengths and capabilities will help Congress to make a comeback,” he said.
Rawat said that Northeast is Congress’s home and Assam is the party’s maika.
“Unfortunately, we lost Assam (in 2016). Subsequently, it affected other northeast states (where Congress was in power) and BJP came to power,” Rawat added.
With BJP and its allies in North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) setting the target to win 21 out of 25 parliamentary seats in eight states in the region, Rawat said the saffron party’s dreams will not come true.
“Everyone knows how BJP pumped in a lot of money and indulged in bad practices just to capture power, especially in Manipur and Meghalaya, where Congress emerged as the largest party.
“BJP wants to capture power at any cost. But Northeast is such an important part of the country that the region cannot be seen only for grabbing power. Congress does not see northeast as a centre for winning election. It is a part of the country where Congress is linked emotionally and sympathetically,” he said.
Rawat said his emphasis would be on engaging more youths in party activities in the state.