New Delhi/Guwahati, April 4 : The third and final phase of polling in the Assam Assembly elections on Tuesday, covering 40 seats mostly across 12 districts of lower Assam, could be a game-changer for the Congress-led Mahajot, as the area is deemed a stronghold of its constituents, the BPF and the AIUDF.
Political analysts believe a focus on the anti-CAA factor in this area where there is a high-density of minorities and the Congress’ ‘five guarantees’ can turn the tide for the opposition alliance.
Congress General Secretary in charge of the state Jitendra Singh also contends that the party’s ‘five guarantee scheme’ will be a game-changer in the elections.
“Congress’ five guarantee scheme is paving the way for peace, prosperity and happiness to fill up the lives of the people,” he said, assuring that as state in-charge, he will ensure that these are implemented in totality.
The Congress leaders feel that the anti-BJP vote will consolidate in this phase which will be the final blow to the incumbent government. The alliance of the Congress and Badruddin Ajmal’s AIUDF will pose a tough fight for the BJP, as the large chunk of the Muslims, who account for 34 per cent of the state’s population, are likely to vote on the CAA factor which the BJP is pushing for in the state.
Ajmal, seeking to dispel any last-minute confusion, said: “AIUDF is committed to supporting a Congress Chief Minister in the state. A Mahajot government, an alliance of 10 parties, will work equally for all regions and communities of Assam without fear or favour. “
He further said the the only agenda of the Mahajot government will be to implement five guarantees, while contending that the BJP’s game of polarisation has failed in the state.
Analysts feel Assam could spring a surprise as it is seeing a very close battle and despite prediction of one-sided polls in favour of the BJP, the decision of Congress and the AIUDF to form a grand alliance, including the BPF, has changed equations and battle is now too close and intense.
Congress says that in upper Assam, the presence of regional players AJP and Raijor Dal has dented the BJP, and the AJP-Raijor Dal alliance is likely to eat a chunk of NDA votes, particularly the votes of AGP, the state’s oldest existing regional party.
“Results on May 2 will show how two new parties in upper Assam were instrumental in making Congress sweep the first phase, helping divide non-Congress voters between themselves and the BJP, our post-poll research has found, helping Congress win seats it wasn’t expecting,” Jitendera Singh said.
In the 2016 Assembly election, the Congress and the AIUDF fought separately, winning 30.9 per cent and 13 per cent of the votes, respectively. The BJP, on the other hand, had 29.5 per cent and its allies AGP and BPF got 8.1 and 3.9 per cent, respectively.
But in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP won decisively in the state, despite the NRC fallout.