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Rahul Gandhi to blow the Congress poll bugle in Assam tomorrow

SIVASAGAR: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will blow the poll bugle in the party’s poll campaign addressing a mammoth rally at Boarding Field in Sivasagar tomorrow.

Sivasagar and adjoining Nazira have been a Congress bastion over the past decade and the Wayanad MP’s visit is viewed as a fillip to the party’s prospects. A direct contest between the Congress and the newly floated Raijor Dal is on the cards in Sivasagar during the assembly elections tentatively in April.

While Congress would be on a backfoot following the demise of veteran party leader Pranab Gogoi, the Raijor Dal is indicating that it would field popular peasant leader Akhil Gogoi from Sivasagar.

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Although the Congress has formed a grand alliance of six parties, Raijor Dal refused to join the conglomerate citing that it would not ally with any national or communal party. Raijor Dal has forged an alliance with another newly floated party, Assam Jatiya Parishad. Both the parties have been floated on the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 plank.

Meanwhile, most of the senior Congress leaders of the state, including state president Ripun Bora, MP Gaurav Gogoi, MLA Rakibul Hussain and others, have arrived here today and were monitoring preparations for the rally. Party leaders said they were expecting a crowd of lakhs of people to attend the rally.

With elections round the corner, the ruling BJP and other regional parties have already been fully into campaign mood. BJP national leaders such as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah have already visited the state multiple times. Modi is likely to visit for a third time within a month on February 22.

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For the Congress, this will be for the first time a national star campaigner is going to visit the state. Uttar Pradesh Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi is also likely to visit south Assam’s Barak Valley towards the end of February. Party central in-charge Jitender Singh has been camping in the state over the past month.

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