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Congress’ hattrick in Assam

Guwahati: Congress appears to be headed towards a majority in the Assam Assembly Elections as the party is leading/has won in 79 out of the total 126 seats, as per trends/results available. This would mean that incumbent Tarun Gogoi would be Chief Minister for third time straight.

The opposition Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and BJP are leading/have won in 10 and 3 seats respectively. Others including independents are leading/have won in 34 seats.

The party has won from Teok, Bokajan (ST) and Jalukbari constituencies. Membor Gogoi won from Teok for the third consecutive term, defeating AGP’s Hemanta Kalita by 29,899 votes.

From Bokajan (ST) seat, Kiengdoong Engti defeated independent Jagat Singh Engti by 16,809 votes, while in Jalukbari Health Minister Himanta Sarma won for the third time defeating BJP rival by a record 77,161 votes.

Congress candidate Bharat Chandra Narah, MLA for the last 25 years, lost to AGP’s Nabakumar Toley by a margin of 5,600 from Dhakuakhana.

In a big boost for the Trinamool Congress, which romped to power in West Bengal, has for the first time won in Assam with its candidate Dwipen Pathak from Hajo defeating former Lok Sabha MP Kirip Chaliha of Congress by 500 votes. Trinamool contested in 112 seats.

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi in Titabor along with his most Cabinet colleagues barring Khorsing Engti (Howraghat) is leading.

AGP president Chandra Mohan Patowary (Dharmapur), former president Brindaban Goswami (Tezpur), party general secretary Hiten Goswami (Jorhat), sitting Nalbari MLA Alaka Desai Sarma and former ministers Dr Kamala Kalita (Chaygaon), Atul Bora (Dispur) and Ramendra Narayan Kalita (Guwahati West) are trailing.

BJP state unit president and Bihali sitting MLA Ranjit Dutta, Karimganj North sitting MLA and leader of the party in the Assembly Mission Ranjan Das and Dibrugarh sitting party MLA Prasanta Phukan are also trailing.

Meanwhile, former two-time chief minister and AGP leader Prafulla Kumar Mahanta has lost from Samaguri where Congress’ Rockybul Hussain won. Mahanta, who contested on two seats, is however leading from Barhampur.

Speaking to reporters, a smiling Gogoi said economic development helped the Congress return to power. The peace initiative with ULFA would have been a factor that propelled votes in Gogoi’s favour.

Gogoi added that his was a clean government with no charges of corruption against any of his ministers. The CM also didn’t forget to thank party chief Sonia Gandhi for being supportive throughout.

Though the Congress appears to be in a position to form government on its own without the support of other parties, Gogoi said its ally “BPF would continue to be a part of the government as it had helped it in difficult times”.

An estimated 76 percent of Assam’s nearly 18 million voters had exercised their franchise on April 4 and 11.

In 2006, the Congress won 53 seats, the AGP 24, and the BJP and AUDF 10 each.

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