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Congress plays its trump card RJD to regain its Tinsukia fort?

TINSUKIA: High on morale after emerging as the single largest party in Bihar elections last year, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) will try spreading its wings eastward fielding its first candidate from the Hindi speaking communities dominated Congress bastion Tinsukia seat in the Assam assembly elections on March 27.

Being part of the Congress-led eight-party grand alliance, RJD is pitching Congress worker Hira Devi Choudhury as its candidate in the Upper Assam constituency.

While doing this, the Congress’s gameplan is obvious and on the point. The Tinsukia constituency had always been a bastion for Indian National Congress since 1957. The party has lost only twice from the seat, once in 1978 and the last time in 2016; both occasions being on wave in favor of particular parties.

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Last time the nation-wide pro-Narendra Modi wave had swept the Congress bastion to the core as its candidate, three-time MLA Rajendra Prasad Singh, lost by 35,069 votes to Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Sanjoy Kishan. But this time the Congress is apparently leaving no stone unturned to build a castle with all the stones thrown at it. To do it, the party is focusing on minority voters.

Tinsukia is primarily an industrial district of Assam. It has India’s oldest refinery in Digboi and also coal mining sites such as Ledo and Margherita along with the Hindustan Unilever (HUL) plant.

Also, the district is well connected and the Tinsukia railway junction makes it commercially more feasible for the traders and buyers and other businesses and opportunities.

Due to these, the Hindi-speaking population plays a major factor in this constituency. More than 50,000 Hindi-speaking voters catalyze the fate of candidates in the elections.

It is pretty sure that the Hindi-speaking voters’ sentiment is still largely connected with the RJD after its last year’s Bihar election results under the leadership of Tejasvi Yadav. And, to capitalize on it, Congress has nominated their former party worker Hira Devi Choudhury from RJD.

Contacted by InsideNE about Congress-RJD’s further seat-sharing prospects, RJD Assam state president Shonarul Shah Mustafa said: “We have sent a candidates list to the Congress high command regarding the same. We expect to get to know soon.”

Assam state Congress media cell chairperson Bobbeeta Sharma said: “We are not sure about it. For now, they will be contesting from one constituency in the first phase.”

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To woo the tea community voters back which also form a sizeable number in the constituency, the Congress is also taking the help of leaders from Chattisgarh to connect with the voters. The tea community has its roots in Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Odisha.

The BJP has made deep inroads to the tea community voters over the past five years.

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