GUWAHATI, June 18: Congress must follow the ‘RSS model’ of mass contact which helped BJP win elections in Assam, former chief minister Tarun Gogoi has said.
The Congress has seen continuous electoral drubbing in the state since the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. It was voted out of power in Assam, in 2016, and managed to win only three seats in the last two LS polls.
Congress decline in Assam coincided with the defection of senior leader Himanta Biswa Sarma to the BJP. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh espouses Hindutva and is the ‘parent’ of the BJP. Gogoi clarified that following the ‘RSS model’ of mass contact did not mean endorsing its ideology.
“I am against RSS ideology. I want to emphasize that we need to study how RSS has expanded through a network of social-cultural organisations in the state. This network has assisted RSS to build mass
contact. We know how RSS pracharaks fan out to villages, stay there and establish rapport with the people. What is the harm if Congress embarks on such mass contact, sans the ideology of RSS,” Gogoi asked.
Identifying ‘dwindling mass contact’ as the reason for Congress’ defeats, Gogoi said, “we became complacent after being in power for three consecutive terms. Now that we are decimated, we must take it as an opportunity, find out mistakes, rectify them and start working with full energy,” he said. Gogoi was the CM for all the three terms.
Congress has set a target of winning 80 out of 126 seats in 2021 and BJP has a target of 100 seats. “We have to accomplish ‘Mission 80′. For this to happen, we all have to work on mission mode. We need a robust mass contact exercise the RSS has.
We can take a leaf from the RSS’ mass contact exercise. I will be on the forefront of this mass contact exercise,” 84-year-old Gogoi said.
When asked if dissidents were responsible for the Congress’ 2019 debacle, Gogoi said that Congress had ‘thousands’ of ‘dedicated’ workers but ‘very few’ dissidents. (TNN)