The ticket distribution process of Assam between BJP and Congress aspirants have thrown a contrasting picture of late.
On the one side a very organized and organic ticket distribution process in Congress and on the other side a very chaotic and opaque process in the BJP camp.
Five years back it was a role reversal. But Congress in the past three weeks had seriously changed their working and proving better handler of the situation than the BJP-AGP as they were igniting one after chaos.
For that Congress had to thank Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel in Assam and General Secretary Jitendra Singh for the show. They have successfully controlled the notorious factionalism in Assam Congress as the ticket distribution process was taken away by the state leadership and rather relied on ground reports.
Baghel is the key
Mr Baghel has three key advisors — Vinod Verma, Ruchir Garg and Rajesh Tiwari — who have been stationed in Assam, and over two dozen teams comprising local Congress leaders from Chhattisgarh have been moved to Assam to oversee the election efforts. This is in addition to the campaign already put in place by AICC in-charge Jitendra Singh, who is considered close to Rahul Gandhi.
“No doubt BJP being a ruling party, the noise will be louder and dissident will also be stronger but BJP being a self-proclaimed disciplined party could have managed the show better not what has been seeing all over the state,” said a senior journalist Bedabrata Bora.
On the other hand Assam Congress leaders still smarting after a successive defeat are bound to be a little more civilized than the upbeat BJP. “He (Jitendra Singh) had taken all of us to a resort some two months ago and we sat together for several hours. His message was very clear. The party will not project anyone as the Chief Minister candidate. Every leader will get a post in election-related panels but how we conduct ourselves while delivering the task assigned to us will decide our fate,” said a senior Congress leader admitting that he was already shortlisted as a possible candidate and for that he had not even spent one rupee. This is an unthinkable proposition in Assam Congress where even Panchyat tickets are up for sale and often the PCC chiefs are accused of taking money for ticket distribution.
Team from Chattisgarh
Apart from the Chhattisgarh team, Singh has deputed four AICC office-bearers – AICC secretaries Anirudh Singh, Prithviraj Prabhakar Sathe and Vikas Upadhyay and joint secretary Aditya Sharma – who are stationed in various areas.
The teams from Chhattisgarh which reached Assam in January – Baghel was appointed senior observer for campaign management and coordination in the first week of January – had held “Sankalp shivirs” for booth workers. Party leaders say barring a few Assembly constituencies in the Bodo region, such shivirs were held in all the seats. The idea, sources said, was to “charge up” the workers.
On the other hand, BJP, which was totally euphoric till a few weeks ago, are a little submissive nowadays with dissident and revolt threatening to ruin their chances.
Chaos in BJP
Such was the chaos in the BJP that three MPS had to be brought back as MLA candidates. They are Tapan Gogoi, Pallab Lochan das and Kankhya Tasa,. The first two were MLAs but sent to Lok Sabha, where they were cooling their heels in Parliament and now they are brought back.
However, the BJP leader Dhurva Baishya said that naturally there would be some heart burning and some emotions for not getting the ticket but all will fall in line. “Everything will be seamless after March 15,. This is natural. The only one will get a ticket in one constituency where there are more than one strong and faithful leaders,. Which only signifies how much we are strong” said Mr Basihya.
But for the optics, it is clear that Congress has been managing well the process than the BJP.