ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Understanding BJP’s Return to Power

Assam Elections 2021

Hyper-populism riding on welfare schemes along with a polarised campaign on religious lines paved the way for the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance’s return to power in Assam. As the new government resumes office, it remains to be seen if it will continue its emphasis on polarising issues such as reverification of National Register of Citizens and ban or focus on larger issues like the Covid-19 pandemic, flood and erosion that continue to hamper the state’s development.

 

The three-phase elections to the Assam legislative assembly return­ed the incumbent National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to power. The NDA comprising of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and a new partner—the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) formed by the ex-president of the All-Bodo Students’ Union (ABSU) Pramod Bodo—won 75 seats and comfortably passed the majority number of 64 seats in the house consisting of 126 seats. The UPPL, which won six seats in the assembly elections, had succeeded in winning 12 out of 40 seats in the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) elections held in December 2020 (Sentinel Digital Desk 2021).

In this election, the BJP faced challenges from two alliances. The first alliance—the Mahajot or Grand Alliance—was led by the Congress, along with the All-India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI[M]), Com­munist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) (CPI[ML]) and the newly formed regional front Anchalik Gana Morcha. The Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) joined this alliance only a month before the elections. The second alliance that entered the election fray consisted of two regional parties, the Asom Jatiya Parishad (AJP) formed by ex-All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) leader Lurinjyoti Gogoi and the Raijor Dal formed by jailed leader of the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), Akhil Gogoi. Both these regional parties were formed against the backdrop of an anti-CAA (Citizenship [Amendment] Act) agitation that rocked the state in 2019–20. The regional parties claimed to provide a third front to the voters of Assam. The Mahajot could manage 50 seats while the newly formed parties’ performance was dismal. Only Raijor Dal President Akhil Gogoi could win from the Sivsagar constituency.

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Updated On : 12th Jun, 2021

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