//Poll-bound Assam on Sangh radar- Twin strategies for party

Poll-bound Assam on Sangh radar- Twin strategies for party

Guwahati, Feb. 27: Pinning hopes on Assam for the forthcoming Assembly elections, the Sangh Parivar has chalked out a two-pronged strategy to expand the saffron base in the state.

On the one hand, the BJP will go all out against the Tarun Gogoi-led Congress government, highlighting acts of omission and commission during its five-year rule. On the other, the chief constituent of the parivar, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), will launch a vigorous campaign to create a hitherto unheard of “Hindu votebank”.

Embarking on their first agenda, BJP general secretary Pramod Mahajan today released a “chargesheet” against Dispur, focussing on its alleged protection and promotion of infiltrators from Bangladesh and anti-national elements.

Mahajan said the party would come out with a vision document for Assam on March 5. The party will make the document and chargesheet public during its mass interaction programme titled “gaon chalo”, “booth chalo” and “chai bagan chalo”.

Giving Assam top priority among the five states expected to go to polls simultaneously, the party has also decided to hold its three-day national executive meeting here from March 25. The top brass of the BJP will attend the meeting.

Coinciding with the event, the BJP will organise a public rally in Guwahati on March 26, which is likely to be addressed by party stalwarts like Atal Bihar Vajpayee and L.K. Advani.

In a bid to create a Hindu votebank in the state, the VHP has planned a sant yatra on March 21. This was confirmed by state unit president J.C. Pathak. He said the decision to create a Hindu votebank was taken at the two-day session of the VHP’s 11th Dharma Sansad that concluded here on February 11. This will be the VHP’s first political step in the state, aimed at “protecting Hindu interests”.

Pathak said the party’s decision had been spurred by the view that the “so-called secular parties in the country listen only to those who are united as a strong votebank”.

A total of 473 religious figures and top VHP leaders, including its president, Ashok Singhal, participated in the sansad. As many as 164 satras also took part in the two-day conclave, Pathak said.

The details of the sant yatra will be finalised at a meeting of the VHP here on March 3. Pathak said it had been tentatively decided that the yatra would be launched at Lakhimpur first. After covering the district within a week, the party would decide on the programmes in other districts.

Issues such as infiltration and the changing demographic pattern in the state would form the core of the party’s campaign.