In poll-bound Assam, Bharatiya Janata Party is attracting voters across the State. It is likely to emerge victorious in 100-plus seats despite Congress’ tie-up with AIUDF. The party is creating awareness among voters that Congress is trying to communalise elections by radicalising a minority community which is detrimental to the interests of Assam
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) engineered massive campaigning in Assam, attracting a huge number of people where the potential voters listened to the star-campaigners. It engaged a number of political heavy weights, including Prime Minister Modi, BJP president JP Nadda, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. Jitendra Singh, Smriti Irani, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Aditya Nath, Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis also participated in election rallies.
The largest political party in the world is fighting for 92 seats (out of 126 Assembly constituencies), leaving the remaining seats to its political allies, namely Asom Gana Parishad (26 seats) and United People’s Party Liberal (8 seats). This time, the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) is not with the BJP-led alliance. The Bodo community affiliated party (which won 12 seats in the 2016 Assembly elections) has joined the Congress-led grand coalition.
BJP Eyeing Multiple Seats
Last time, the Congress won 26 seats and its present ally, All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), succeeded in 13 constituencies. AGP emerged victorious in 14 seats; the BJP alone won in 60 constituencies. This time, BJP targets to win 100-plus seats, with its electoral allies and at least 80-plus by its own nominees capturing some Congress-dominated constituencies.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal is seeking re-election from the Majuli-SC Assembly constituency in the mighty Brahmaputra river. Himanta Biswa Sarma continues to be the candidate for the Jalukbari seat. Party’s Assam unit president Ranjeet Kr Dass is fighting for the Patacharkuchi constituency leaving his seat Sorbhog to Sankar Chandra Das.
The list of prominent BJP nominees also include Jayanta Malla Barua (Nalbari), Jitu Goswami (Barhampur), Mayur Buragohain (Nazira), Surabhi Rajkuwari (Sibsagar), Binod Hazarika (Lahowal), Teros Gowala (Duliajan), Bimal Borah (Tingkhong), Nazir Hussain (Rupahihat), Anil Saikia (Samaguri), Biswajit Phukan (Sarupathar) and Hemanta Kalita (Titabar).
Hitting the poll ground of Assam, Amit Shah promised the locals to make Assam free from infiltration, terror and perennial flood while creating relentless developmental activities. He assured that the menace of illegal migrants in Assam would be resolved within the next five years. Amit Shah asserted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union Government can only save Assam from the infiltrators.
Talking about the Opposition leader Rahul Gandhi, Amit Shah commented that the Congress leader has already taken AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal as his alliance partner. So Rahul Gandhi can never protect Assam from the influx of illegal immigrats. He asked the listeners, can Ajmal ever help Hindus of Assam as the Muslim centric leader always bats for the religious minority?
The veteran BJP leader criticised former PM Manmohan Singh, who had represented Assam in Rajya Sabha, for not solving the problem of infiltration and annual flood. Shah congratulated the Dispur government led by Sarbananda Sonowal and Himanta Biswa Sarma as a saviour to the people and their cultural heritage.
Senior BJP leader Fadnavis, in various public addresses, criticised Congress party for forging an alliance with the AIUDF for their inherent intention to divide Assam on religious lines. Giving full marks to State CM Sonowal for his works during the last five years; Fadnavis urged everyone to remain alert against divisive forces.
Consolidating Muslim Vote Bank
Similar voices were also raised by BJP veteran Chouhan who commented that the Congress was following the path shown by Muhammad Ali Jinnah to destroy the country. He condemned the opposition party for agreeing to have Badruddin Ajmal led AIUDF in the grand alliance with the sole aim to create a minority vote bank. Chouhan described it as a cheating alliance (Thogbandhan).
He also added nowdays Congress does not prefer Ghulam Nabi Azad or Anand Sharma, but Ajmal in Assam, Muslim League in Kerala, Furfura Sharif in West Bengal etc. Chouhan termed the Congress as a failed party that only gave people corruption, infiltration, terrorism, violence, unemployment and hunger.
Hitting the poll ground of Assam, Amit Shah promised locals to make Assam free from infiltration, terror and perennial flood while creating relentless developmental activities. He assured that the menace of illegal migrants in Assam would be resolved within the next five years
Popular English daily The Sentinel editorialised the State elections commenting that the indigenous people of Assam largely voted in favour of the BJP-led alliance in 2016 elections because of the slogan for protecting Jaati, Maati and Bheti in the backdrop of large-scale infiltrations from Bangladesh.
“There is no denying the fact that influx from erstwhile East-Pakistan and present-day Bangladesh is a part of the larger design of converting Assam and the North-Eastern region into a new Pakistan. The dream of Pakistan founder Md. Ali Jinnah and his successors, including Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and the founder of Bangladesh Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to occupy the entire region in a greater Islamic nation has remained unfulfilled,” said the editorial.
It categorically mentioned that the Congress does not appear to have any moral right to talk about the protection of indigenous communities because of its alliance with the AIUDF, which was formed in 2005 to protect the interests of those people (read infiltrators and people of East Pakistan and Bangladesh) who are likely to be affected because of the scrapping of the IM(DT) Act.
Moreover, necessary precautionary measures due to the Covid-19 pandemic have been adopted by the State electoral department. The safety of voters has been prioritised across the State. Additional polling stations are planned, where needed, to accommodate a maximum of 1000 voters in one polling booth.