Hindus ensured Cong win in Assam

Posted on May 15, 2011


Move Towards Congress Upset BJP Prospects

Guwahati: If the Hindu consolidation behind the CPM-led Left Democratic Front almost cost Congress Kerala, a similar push from the majority community was the main factor behind it retaining power in Assam.

Detailed analysis of results shows that unexpected support from Hindus and tribals was the main reason for Congress’ tally which surpassed the expectation of its strategists, while numbing rivals AGP and BJP.

Results show that Muslims, who make up 30% of the electorate, switched allegiance from Congress to a Deobandi outfit, Badaruddin Ajmal’s All-India United Democratic Front that has taken up the minorities’ cause since 2006. With 18 MLAs, it’s Assam’s largest opposition party and has more Muslim MLAs than Congress.

On the other hand, Hindus gravitated towards Tarun Gogoi and Congress, which regularly got flak for its ‘pro-minority’ stand. The realignment upset BJP’s poll prospects.

The Hindutva party, which always harps on the issue of illegal migrants from across the border, suffered a debacle in the Bengali-dominated Barak Valley, its traditional stronghold. The results showed that Bengali Hindu voters left BJP for Congress. Of the 15 seats there, Congress won 13 while Asom Gana Parishad and AIUDF bagged one each. In the Brahmaputra Valley, BJP won just five seats.

Kirit Bhushan Purkayasthya, senior BJP leader from the Barak Valley, said a large number Hindu voters in Barak Valley voted for Congress this time and BJP could not stop it. “I agree that to some extent our party was not united in the Barak Valley. We are shocked by the results and will examine them soon,” he added.

Source: Oinam Sunil | TNN, Times of India, 15th May 2011