How Congress’s poor choice of candidates and leadership is its biggest weakness in Assam?


The stark decline of Congress in Assam in particular and national level in general is owing to the mainly two reasons. The first reason is associated with loss of touch with the grassroots of politics, the daily life of the community. The second reason is the lack of selection of efficient leaders that can master the resources necessary to do the grassroot connect.

The very condition of having a grassroot connection is not associated with personal charisma, vocal , high profile character of any leader. The most important necessity to connect with the grassroots comes with the most difficult of the task in politics, which is to make informed decisions and implement them across the political spectrum from election campaigning to organisational work.

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Now, based on what we have seen as a political observer, in Assam, we see lack of any informed choice in the selection of leadership for organisational roles and for election contests.

This particular situation can be seen repeated ever since 2016, largely owing to structural flaws in the assessment system. Take for instance the case of Guwahati Lok Sabha seat. This is the most prestigious as weel as iconic seat in the entire North East India. Save for 2004, when Kirip Chaliha trounced none other than the legendary singer Dr. Bhupen Hazarika to win the Guwahati seat, congress could not capture the seat over the course of last two decades.

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Two decades of massive possibility of Guwahati development and projection was missed by utter failure of all its elected representatives.

This time also, hopes were raised high with large number of prospective candidates jostling for candidature from Congress party. Mira Borthakur who came from BJP , Romen Barthakur who is a strong leader having been a party candidate against none other than the CM of Assam, along with being a backbone of Assam Congress, as well as host of other aspirants applied for the ticket.
After pathetic failure of incumbent MP ,Queen Hazarika and Bijaya Chakraborty before that, the electorate from Guwahati was expecting a strong candidate having strong organisational strength and capability to master grassroot connect, in a very prestigious seat.

As the assessment goes, Mira Borthakur is given the ticket. Howsoever the decision is privy to Congress party’s Internal thinking, it is clear that the candidate sought by electorate of Guwahati was Romen Barthakur. He simply is the ideal candidate to defeat BJP machinations.

From the political analysis of possibilities, it is clear that Romen Barthakur is a capable leader, who has proved his mettle in more areas than Mira Barthakur. Though there are strong opposition from ruling dispensation against him, it is clear that he can be one of the gems of Congress provided he works on his approach, strategy and campaign execution work.

As per the electorate expectations go, this time, there is no clear projection of victory or inevitablity factor, which means the pitch is open for all the candidates.

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