Early Assam Trends Show Saffron Surge as BJP Takes Lead in 8 Lok Sabha Seats
While exit polls have suggested that the BJP is likely to dominate the Lok Sabha seat, it remains to be seen what impact the twin issues of the Citizenship Amendment Bill and the National Register of Citizens will have on the outcome of the polls.
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Assam Lok Sabha Election Results 2019: Early trends suggest that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is leading in 9 seats in Assam. Son of former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and sitting lawmaker from Kaliabor, Congress candidate Gaurav Gogoi, is trailing from the Kaliabor constituency. He is fighting Moni Madhab Mahanta from the Asom Gana Parishad. Gogoi has had considerable campaigning support as well with party president Rahul Gandhi, his father, and actress Nagma lending a hand. Kaliabor is believed to be a Congress stronghold and Gogoi had won the seat in 2014 by defeating Mrinal Kumar Saikia of the BJP by 93,874 votes by securing 38% of the votes.
Assam saw the saffron party win an unprecedented seven seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha, following which it formed the government for the first time in 2016. With 14 of the 25 seats in the region in Assam, the state — along with West Bengal and Odisha — holds the key for any potential losses in the party’s traditional bastions in northern India.
But while exit polls have suggested that the BJP is likely to dominate the Lok Sabha seat, it remains to be seen what impact the twin issues of the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) have on the outcome of the polls. While the CAB infuriated the Muslim population in the state, a community that has historically played a crucial role in the electoral fate of at least 10 seats, the NRC drive was marred with controversy after lakhs of name were found ‘missing’ from the list.
1. BJP candidate H.S.Bay is leading with 12,682 votes in Autonomous Council and AGP candidate Kumar Deepak Biswas is leading with 34,727 votes in Barpeta. In Dhubri, AIUDF candidate is Badaruddin Ajmal is leading with 24903 votes and in Dibrugarh, BJP’s Rameswar Teli is leading with 65,047 votes.
2. BJP candidate Tapan Gogoi is leading with 3,260 votes in Jorhat. And in Kaliabor, AGP candidate Moni Madhab Mahanta is leading with 21,415 votes. In Karimganj, AIUDF candidate Radheshyam Biswas is leading with 15,502 votes. In Kokrajhar, BPF leader Pramila Rani Brahma is leading with 1,281 votes.
3. BJP leader Pradan Baruah is leading with 67,877 votes in Lakhimpur and in Guwahati it is Congress’s Bobeeta Sharma who is leading with 7,498 votes. In Mangaldoi, BJP candidate Dilip Saikia is leading with 6,039 votes and in Nagaon, BJP candidate Rupak Sharma is leading with 16,722 votes. In Silchar, BJP candidate Rajdeep Roy is leading with 26 votes and in Tezpur BJP leader Pallab Lochan Das is leading with 10,661 votes.
4. Like 2014, the poll battle in Assam is between the BJP and Congress. The influence of other prominent parties like All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) and Bodoland People's Front (BPF), although limited to specific pockets, might be key.
5. The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), a strong regional party which drafted the Assam Accord in 1985, had joined hands with the BJP for the 2019 polls despite differences over the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) - both key poll issues in the state.
6. Voting in Assam was held in three phases. Five constituencies each went to polls on April 11 and 18, while the remaining four voted on April 23 in the aftermath of the state-wide protests against the CAB.
7. While the BJP-led Centre withdrew tabling the Bill in the face of active resistance from the local population, the issue dominated the political discourse in the state. The Bill, which promised citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, was the BJP’s main poll plank in Assam, unlike other states in northeast. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had reiterated the BJP’s commitment to it in his rallies while the Congress dubbed it unconstitutional.
8. The BJP’s push for CAB has infuriated the local Muslims, who played a crucial role in deciding the political fate of candidates in at least 10 Lok Sabha seats in Assam.
9. Another contentious issue was the National Register of Citizens of India (NRC) drive undertaken by the government to determine the citizens of Assam. With lakhs of names missing from the list, the whole process turned some sections against the ruling BJP.
10. During the state-wide anti-CAB protests a few months back, students from Gauhati University, Tezpur University and Dibrugarh University had also taken to the streets, torched effigies of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and organised fasts. While the Cotton University Students’ Union (CUSU) had taken part in class boycotts, Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) students wore black badges while on duty. Students from the state, living in New Delhi, had staged protests against the bill as well.
11. The Assam Survey Report, 2018, highlighted the fact that the government in power largely rejected voters’ priorities in the state.
12. Assam is a state in north east India and has 14 seats in the Lok Sabha of which 1 are reserved for Scheduled Castes and 2 are reserved for Scheduled Tribes. Assam also sends 7 members to the Rajya Sabha. There are 126 Assembly constituencies in the state and the last Assembly elections were held in May 2016.
13. According to the latest available data, there are a total of 2,18,15,823 eligible voters in Assam, of which 1,11,86,860 are male, 1,06,28,460 female and 503 voters of the Third Gender. The state can be divided into 3 region(s): Barak Valley, Lower Assam, Upper Assam.
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