After a gruelling election season, the political parties across the country are gearing up for the results, slated to be announced on May 2. The numerous exit polls released yesterday have suggested that BJP is storming back to power, in the north-eastern state of Assam. The winning streak of BJP in Assam will be an indirect referendum on the success of CAA-NRC and a message for the rest of the country to follow.
The fate of Assamese leaders got sealed in the EVM on 6th April with the end of the last phase voting. In the 126 seats strong Assam Legislative Assembly, 64 seats are needed for the majority and under the leadership of Himanta Biswa Sarma, BJP is eyeing a comfortable majority.
The India Today-Axis My India exit poll predicted the BJP to win 75-85 seats in the Assam Assembly election. The Congress could win 40-50 seats. Meanwhile, the exit poll predicted that the BJP would get 48 per cent votes polled in the Assam Assembly election compared to 40 per cent polled by Congress.
The Northeastern state has been facing the problem of illegal immigrants swarming to the state in hoards for some years now. Bringing CAA-NRC is being seen as the ultimate antidote to quash the decades-old problem.
Earlier, TFI reported that there are Muslims in Assam, who do not want to be identified with illegal Bangladeshi immigrants and have thus, rallied behind BJP. The party succeeded in portraying illegal Muslims of Bengali origin as the biggest threat to the indigenous communities in Assam and ultimately used it for its benefit.
Meanwhile, a depleted Congress, staring at an uphill task of reviving its fortunes in the state where it was decimated in the last assembly elections took the hara-kiri decision of tying up with perfume-baron Badruddin Ajmal, who himself, along with his party are perceived to harbour pro-infiltrator sentiments.
The Congress’ alliance with the AIUDF in Assam was necessitated for one sole reason – prevention of absolute decimation in the polls. Yet, Congress now stares at the prospect of being obliterated anyway, with greater proportions of humiliation no less.
The formula for the Congress and its partner AIUDF in Assam was simple – consolidate Muslim votes. Muslims constitute roughly 35 per cent of the state’s electorate. Although the consolidation of Muslim votes would have been fairly easy for the two parties, they also had another plan – hinging upon which will the consolidation of minority vote bear results. That plan was to achieve the division of Hindu and indigenous votes in the state between itself and the BJP.
However, the CAA-NRC debate ensured that Congress could not even lay its hands on the Muslim votes. It did not help that BJP used Congress’s tactic and fielded Muslim candidates to woo the Muslim voters of Assam. In the third phase of elections, the BJP gave a chance to five Muslim candidates. It included Ashdul Islam from South Salmara, Abu Bakkar Siddiqui from Bilasipara West, Usman Goni from Jaleshwar, Shaheedul Islam from Janiya, and Hasinara Khatun from Bagbore in western Assam, where Muslim voters play a key role.
The results in the region will be a bitter pill for Congress to swallow. However, given Congress’s illustrious history of manufacturing elaborate defeats under the leadership of Congress scion, Rahul Gandhi — it might not sting as nearly every poll pundit had predicted a similar scoreline.