Out of power for six years now, the Congress party in Assam is not only facing repeated losses in elections and exodus of leaders to other parties, the party is also facing severe financial crisis. Loss of power and loss of active members have meant sources of income for the party is drying up, and the party is finding it difficult to fund its day-to-day operations. As a result, the party leadership in Assam is considering converting and redeveloping its party offices and other fixed assets into commercial complexes to earn money.
The Assam Congress is planning to convert its state headquarter Rajiv Bhavan situated at ABC on GS Road in Guwahati into a commercial complex to earn rental income. This was disclosed by Rana Goswami, the Working President of Assam Pradesh Congress Committee. Talking to reporters at the Rajiv Bhavan in Guwahati on Friday, Goswami said that the party has vast amounts of fixed assets across the country, and the party high command has asked the state units to prepare an assessment of such assets. The assessment is done to explore the option of monetising the assets, the Congress leader said.
Rana Goswami said that Assam Congress president Bhupen Bora proposed to convert the Rajiv Bhavan into a commercial complex, and a proposal for the same already has been sent to the party high command. Once the approval for the same arrives, work on redeveloping the site will start.
Along with the Rajiv Bhavan, the party is also considering developing its another property in the city. Rana Goswami said that as part of the asset monetisation plan, the Manabendra Sarma Complex owned by the party, located next to the Assam Capital Complex at Ganeshguri in Guwahati, will also be developed. He said that the party plans to build a 15-storey building at the site. Apart from being a rent-earning commercial complex, this site will also house the new head office of Assam Congress which will have all the modern facilities, Goswami said.
Rana Goswami said that Congress is facing financial crunch to run the party, therefore the decision has been made. It will be helpful to run the party using the earnings from the commercial complexes, and Assam Congress will be able to help the party’s units in neighbouring states too, he said.
“If the party has to remain powerful politically, the party needs to have its own income. Therefore it has been decided to build a multi-storey building at the Manabendra Sharma Complex also. The business complex will be built at a cost of Rs 15 crore. Pradesh Congress took decision to earn income. Half of the Manabendra Sharma Complex will be used as Rajiv Bhavan, while the entire site of the current Rajiv Bhavan will be a business complex”, Rana Goswami said.
Reacting to the development, cabinet minister and former Congress leader Piyush Hazarika supported the plan, saying that it will help Congress in running the party. He said that Congress is losing vote bank to AIUDF, AAP, AGP etc, and the Congress is losing its relevance in the state. He added that there is no alternative to BJP in Assam now, and the party will remain in power for the next 20 years.
The Rajiv Bhavan is located a prime location in Guwahati on the GS Road, where a number commercial complexes, shopping malls etc have come up. The other site Manabendra Sarma Complex is also located at a prime location. Therefore, if the Congress party’s plan is implemented, the party will ensure a good source of regular income.