The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post
Sukalyan Talukdar, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur
Out of the four states and a union territory, Assam is the only state in the Indian subcontinent where BJP has a chance to form the Government. The state is currently ruled by Congress under Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. Congress is also trying their best to keep the state. They have been winning the state elections three times in row till now.
BJP has won 7 out of 14 Lok Sabha seats in 2014 general elections. BJP has also won in 2015 Municipal elections by a spectacular margin.
Both the parties have formed their alliances with some of the regional parties. The BJP has forged an alliance with the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and Bodo People’s front (BPF). On the other hand, the ruling Congress may form an alliance with All India United Front (AIUDF).
The major issues in Assam right now is unemployment, floods and land erosion, lack of development, dipping agricultural production, corruption, insurgency etc. and most importantly, the sensitive issue of illegal immigration from Bangladesh.
Banking on the particular issue of immigration itself, AGP had formed Government is Assam in 1985. Since most of the immigrants are Muslims, almost all the political parties have been playing the same card for a long time. People in Assam are also divided on this issue, while issues like unemployment and lack of investments are plaguing the state. GDP of Assam is $19520 Million which is one of the lowest in the country. Investors are not interested to invest in the state because of problems like insurgency, lack of skilled workforce and infrastructure.
But people are still divided on the issue of immigration, outsider versus the son of the soil, Hindu population versus illegal Muslim migrants. No political party is actually interested in solving this issue of immigration in the fear of losing Muslim votes.
Congress has its support base among tea garden voters, tribal groups and minorities. But Congress has failed to form a pre-poll alliance with the Muslim-dominated AIUDF, led by Maulana Badruddin Ajmal. AIUDF had managed to win three seats during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Sarbananda Sonowal is the Minister of State of Youth Affairs and Sports in the Modi Government. He has started his political career with All Assam Student Union. But people are saying the major battle is between Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Will we see effects of Modi wave again? For that, we will have to wait till 19th May, 2016.