The BJP on Sunday romped home easily in Assam, stunning the Congress-led Mohajot as they swept Upper and Central Assam to form the government again, but, in the process handed the party high command the biggest post-poll headache in choosing the next Chief Minister.
For the record, the BJP-led alliance won 76 seats while the Congress lead alliance won 49 seats while the newly formed regional bloc of AJP-RD faring badly except their mercurial leader Akhil Gogoi, who fought and won the election from Jail.
BJP’s other partner AGP won 11 seats and the UPPL won 7 seats giving a total figure of 76 which is however ten seat less than the previous 86.
On other hand, the Congress-AIUDF-BPF alliance combine has won 49 seats, which is better than the previous 39 seats they have won in 2016.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal termed the victory of his party as the result of continuous good work while the Congress State President Ripun Bora accepted the shocking defeat and promised introspection.
On the other hand, Health Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma thanked people and informed them that the Central Parliamentary Board of the party would choose the next Chief Minister of Assam.
The BJP top brass has a tough problem in choosing the Chief Minister as both Dr. Sarma and Sarbananda Sonowal are strong candidates.
The Congress was super confident of forming the government but when the EVMs were opened it was all over as in Upper Assam BJP decimated the Congress and only in the lower Assam and Barak valley the Congress-AIUDF alliance did well due to complete religious polarization as Muslims are a dominant force in these constituencies.
Regionalism vanquished in Assam
The election also saw the end of the “Assamese Regionalism” as a part from the sole win of Akhil Gogoi from the Sibsagar constituency, the AJP, and Raijor Dol has largely been rejected.
Only in a handful of constituencies, they came to the contest but in all others, they were just bystanders as BJP and Congress fought out hard making the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) a complete non-issue even if Congress played it very hard.
The AJP has put up 82 candidates and RD had put up 38 seats but the majority have lost their security deposit.
UPPL dominates Bodoland
In the Bodoland region, the BJP alliance partner UPPL and BPF were locked in a fierce battle. The UPPL eventually won 7 seats while the BPF won 4 seats. The UPPL dominated the Udalguri area while UPPL dominated Kokrajhar, Chirang, and Baksa district. The BJP too got a footing in the area as they changed their alliance from BPF to the UPPL and won Bijni’s seat too.
CAA rejected in Assam
The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is no longer an issue in Assam and voters of Assam have completely rejected it. The Congress and Mohajot have made it the main plank and hijacked the issue from the AJP-RD but voters of Assam are not all impressed with the issue of infiltration.
It rejected both the Congress-led Mohajot and AJP-RD , as both ran an aggressive campaign keeping CAA as their central theme.
But voters of the entire Assam, especially the more sensitive Upper Assam, there was virtually no impact as BJP swept Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Sibsagar, and Golaghat districts.