As the New Year begins, Assam has also entered a crucial phase, with election to the State Legislative Assembly now hardly three months away. In fact, BJP heavyweight and Union Home Minister Amit Shah had already blown the poll bugle in Guwahati a few days ago, while leaders of the ruling alliance in the state have also geared up their activities in order to once again win the hearts of the voters. It is a fact that there has been some degree of resentment among different sections of the people as far as the ruling alliance is concerned. This is particularly true in the backdrop of the number of promises the alliance had made before the 2016 Assembly election, including the one about protecting 'jaati-maati-bheti' of the indigenous communities as also about granting Scheduled Tribe status to some of them. Moreover, there has been some amount of dissatisfaction against one of the alliance partners – the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) – in connection with its stand on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
The BJP, the bigger partner, has meanwhile made it clear that it has replaced the Bodo People's Front (BPF) of Hagrama Mohilary with the UPPL headed by Pramod Boro. Several thousand school teachers on the other hand are still waiting eagerly for their posts to be regularised by the government. While a few new regional parties have been constituted in the past few weeks, all that appears at the moment is that they will at the most split some anti-BJP and anti-AGP votes, which may not lead to winning any seat. One of the new regional outfits is waiting for Akhil Gogoi's release from jail in order to whip up an anti-BJP campaign. The Congress is in total disarray after the death of Tarun Gogoi and departure of Ajanta Neog. The experiment of tying up with Badruddin Ajmal's AIUDF during the Bodo Council election has already proved to be a disaster for the Congress. Ajmal in turn is hoping against hope to tie up with the remnants of the Congress in order to avoid split of the immigrant Muslim votes. The BJP however appears to have already registered itself deeply in the hearts of a wide cross-section of people by way of implementing numerous welfare schemes. It is also expecting a few more Congress leaders to defect. Though the Election Commission has not spelt out the date(s) for elections in Assam, it is by and large clear that it will be held around Rongali Bihu, as was the case in 2016. The BJP meanwhile has set a target of winning 100 seats along with its allies.