First phase will be decisive in Assam

First phase will be decisive in Assam

First phase will be decisive in Assam

The first phase of Assam polls, in which 65 of the total 126 Assembly segments will go to polls on April 4, will be a decisive factor.

These segments, spread across upper and southern Assam, have been stronghold of the ruling Congress. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP has eroded the Congress bastion.

The Assam will be the most keenly watched state among the five states going to polls.
 The BJP has a realistic chance of clinching power only in Assam, where a 15-year-old Congress regime is fighting anti-incumbency.

Tarun Gogoi, who is seeking a fourth term to power, is banking on his 15 years of development and stability.

The BJP and its allies, on the other hand, seeks to ride on the “need to save the indigenous people of Assam from illegal migrant political attack led by Maulana Badruddin Ajmal-led AIUDF and aided by the ruling Congress”.

“We will vote for the BJP and bring about a change since the BJP says it will protect the interest of indigenous communities. The party says it will grant us scheduled tribe status,” said Dilip Moran from Makum in Tinsukia district.

However, the BJP’s one point campaign of driving out illegal Bangladesh migrants and sealing the international border might boomerang.

“The BJP has tied up with the AGP, which got Assam into difficult days. There was financial irregularity and secret killings of family of ULFA cadres. Tarun Gogoi got Assam back on work mode. Over the years, he has rebuilt Assam. Assamese should give another to Gogoi and his team,” said Sankar Nandi, a tea stall owner in Dibrugarh town of upper Assam.

The Congress is banking on its call for developmental politics and appeal to keep out communal and devise forces out of Assam.

“The BJP has given a call for change and an anti-establishment mood has set in. But it has the AGP and BPF as partners. The AGP is not liked by a huge section of voters because people still fear AGP’s dark days. We would prefer to go with the Congress,” said Prakash Saikia, who runs a homestay near the Kaziranga National Park.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had addressed a couple of rallies for the BJP and set the tempo for the saffron party. “The (Narendra) Modi factor is still working in Assam. His campaign has attracted people of Assam before as he was talking about development. The rest of the party is engaged in anti-migrant tirade,” explained senior journalist Rajeev Bhattacharyya.

Campaign by Congress
The Congress has done massive campaigning in all the 65 segments. Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her deputy Rahul Gandhi have countered the BJP campaign.

“We had some tall leaders who are locally very influential. We also have a strong organisational strength. The BJP does not have any of these. Thus, the BJP is trying to create an illusion of a wave in its favour to confuse the voters,” asserted Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi.

In the 2011 Assembly polls, the Congress won the lion’s share of the 65 seats.
DH News Service

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