Assam Assembly Election: How Brahmaputra Valley fared

Even as the BJP won, there

Assam is the only state among the four Indian states that had the State Assembly Election this year, where the BJP is in power. The saffron party leads the Mitrajot (Alliance of Friends) in Assam. It has an alliance with the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) and the Gana Suraksha Party (GSP), which mainly represent the Bodo and Sarania communities respectively. This year's Assembly Election in Assam, however, marks a watershed moment in a way. With the ‘Mahajot’ — a Congress-AIUDF-Left alliance — the political isolation of perfume baron Badruddin Ajmal’s party ends, reflecting his party’s entry into the mainstream.

In several seats of the Brahmaputra Valley, the Bodos are a large ethnolinguistic group in Assam; the tea tribes which are mainly found in the districts of Darrang, Sonitpur, Nagaon, Golaghat, Dibrugarh and Tinsukia, are also dominant voters, and in a couple of consistencies, there is a substantial Gorkha vote share as well.

Following are some of the popular representatives from the Brahmaputra Valley's Constituencies in the 2021 State Assembly Election in Assam:

Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from Majuli assembly seat on Sunday, 2nd May, defeated the Congress candidate Rajib Lochan Pegu by 43,192 votes. According to the Election Commission of India website, Sonowal has retained his seat for the second time, polling 71,436 votes (67.53 per cent), while the Congress candidate has to his credit 28,244 votes (26.7 per cent).The chief minister had earlier in the day said, as per trends, the BJP-led alliance will retain power in the state. "The public blessed us. It is now sure that there will be a BJP government and we are coming back with our partners AGP and UPPL," Sonowal told reporters.

Assam Minister and senior BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma won from Jalukbari constituency by a margin of more than one lakh votes. Sarma, BJP's key strategist in the northeast, defeated his nearest rival, Congress' Romen Chandra Borthakur, by 1,01,911 votes. Himanta Biswa Sarma via Twitter said,"It would be my privilege to represent the constituency for a fifth consecutive term. My gratitude to the people of Jalukbari, PM Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP National President JP Nadda." 

Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) President  and the former All Assam Students’ Union General Secretary, Lurinjyoti Gogoi faced humiliating defeat in Naharkatia, with 25,232 votes, as per the report by the Election Commission of India. BJP candidate Taranga Gogoi has won from this seat. 

Taranga Gogoi of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won in Naharkatia with 47,268 votes, defeating Pranati Phukan of Indian National Congress (INC) and Lurinjyoti Gogoi of Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP).

Peasant activist and president of Raijor Dal, Akhil Gogoi, who is under arrest since December 2019 for his alleged role in the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests, won from the Sibasagar seat in Assam. Gogoi has defeated his nearest opponent Surabhi Rajkonwari of BJP, with a margin of over 9,000 votes. As of 2nd May, 2021, Akhil Gogoi is the only winning candidate from Raijor Dal in Assam.

Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) President and self-proclaimed Chief Ministerial nominee of the grand alliance (Mahajot), Ripun Bora faced a shameful defeat in Gohpur, with only 63,930 votes as per the report by the Election Commission of India.

Not to miss, Ripun Bora today, tendered his resignation from the party post “owing the responsibility of the humiliating defeat of my party” following the party-led grand alliance’s loss in the Assam assembly elections today. He cited failure of the party under his leadership to “combat the divisive and communal politics” of the BJP and the RSS as the reason. Ripun Bora also stated,“I do hereby tender my resignation from the post of President, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee owing the responsibility of the humiliating defeat of my party in the Assam Assembly Election 2021."

With the state set for a triangular contest, regional parties have tied up with the BJP-led alliance, the Congress-led alliance and a third alliance of the AJP-RD. A number of regional parties have played a bigger role because of their influence in certain pockets and the alliances they have formed. Two important regional parties in the fray this poll season in Brahmaputra Valley are the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) and the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF).

The United People's Party Liberal (UPPL) is a political party founded in Assam.The party is an ally of the BJP in areas under the Bodoland Territorial Council. United People’s Party Liberal’s Lawrence Islary emerged victorious from the Kokrajhar (East) seat, on Monday, 2nd May, by a vote margin of 18,306. UPPL candidate Lawrence Islary has defeated senior BPF leader and six-time MLA Pramila Rani Brahma in the Kokrajhar East constituency.

BPF is an influential regional party in Assam, the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF), which was an ally of the BJP in the outgoing state government with three ministers,  announced departure from the alliance to join the Congress-led ‘Grand Alliance’ against the saffron party. The move was speculated to be a big boost for the Congress because many believed that the party can swing votes in favour of the alliance in the Bodoland Territorial Region, which is governed by the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) and roughly translates into around 15 Assembly seats.

Veteran Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) leader Pramila Rani Brahma who was also serving as a cabinet minister in the outgoing state government, has reportedly lost to United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) candidate Lawrence Islary in the East Kokrajhar assembly seat, on Sunday, 2nd May, with only 63,427. 

Also, not to miss that the All India United Democratic Front ( AIUDF) have made a great impact in the political scenario of Assam Assembly Election. The party was founded by Maulana Badruddin Ajmal on 3 October 2005 and at that time, its name was Assam United Democratic Front.

It is noted that AIUDF leader Nazrul Hoque wins Dhubri constituency with a landslide margin. AIUDF has been winning this constituency for the last three terms. Other key candidates who contested from this constituency include Dr Debamoy Sanyal (BJP), Azad Ali Sheikh (AJP), Tahabil Alom Sarkar (JDU) and Dewan Habibur Rahman (SUCIC).

Given the poll results on Sunday, 2nd May, it seems the pre-poll alliance between the Congress and the AIUDF, which was forged to oppose CAA and to consolidate Muslim voters, did not go well with the Assamese Hindu voters in Upper Assam. While Muslim votes consolidated in favour of the Congress-AIUDF alliance in lower Assam. 

However, through the election campaign, what seems to have made a huge impact in Assam is Prime Minister Modi's several rallies attended by thousands of voters.

Apart from Modi's popularity as an agent of change and progress, what worked for the BJP in Assam was the strong partnership between chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and his health and education  minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

Gaisiam Rongmei

Gaisiam Rongmei

Total 35 Posts. View Posts

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