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Political parties yet to open their minds

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  2 Feb 2016 12:00 AM GMT

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

SILCHAR, Feb 1: The assembly elections of 2016 likely to be held in April-May will be crucial and the political parties in the reckoning are preparing themselves for the great battle ahead. On the question of adjustment, understanding, pre poll or post poll alliance, the scerio remains hazy. While Congress has not yet firmly open up its mind, it might go for understanding with any party minus BJP. The stand of Badruddin Ajmal, AIUDF chief, is still not clear. For the time being, he has preferred to make controversial statements, adding more to the confusing political scerio.

BJP, the emerging force, as things stand looks flexible in its approach to adjustment or alliance. It has already indicated its option for adjustment with BPF and might even rope in AGP. It however looks strange why the Congress even after ten defections including the most powerful cabinet minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma, which commands majority in the Assembly should think itself on slippery ground. The vacillation on the part of Tarun Gogoi, according to political alysts, is something puzzling. Rather, in number Congress stands above all other political parties ready for the challenge at the hustings.

An alysis of the last assembly polls indicates the growing acceptance of Congress among the people. Though BJP has to content with 5 seats only, there is no variation in its vote share. On the other hand, AIUDF has not only increased its tally but also its percentage of vote polled. AGP has been at the receiving end with its base in public showing a sliding down. While the Congress has a commanding majority with 78 seats, now reduced to 68 due to defections, it has won popularity among the people.

AGP has been at its lowest ebb since its debut in politics in 1985. The Congress has much to boast of as its results in 2011 have been rather astounding. The facts and figures given by the Election Commission of India show Congress has got 39% of votes as compared to 39.75% in 2001 and 31.08% in 2006. It had bagged 71 seats in 2001 and 53 seats in 2006. In 2006, it had entered into an alliance with BPF being short of majority.

AGP which was in power for long 10 years has been put in a situation where it can hardly go for any dictation or bargaining. Reports give the sigl that AGP might go for understanding with BJP. It has enough cause of worry for its dismal performance. It is really surprising that the party which was born out of the sentiments and feelings of the Assamese people and which as a student body spearheaded the historic movement against foreigners should find itself in a predicament.

This downfall and its distance from the people in just 26 years of its birth are matter of concern. What is worth-mentioning is that AGP came to power for the first time in 1985 with 34.54% votes, netting 60 seats. After that, it has been on a decline. Significantly, in 2006 with its 24 legislators, the party was the second largest opposition in the Assembly. But, in the 2011 elections, its vote share declined to 16% only. It also shows how the people of Assam have lost their faith and confidence in the party.

Another fact to take note of is that BJP has been able to show improvement in its tally since it entered the electoral fray in 1985 when it could secure 1.07% share of votes. In 2006, it increased to 11.98% and in 2011 it was 11%. AIUDF, on the other hand, has been a rising force. In its debut year of 2006 electoral battle, it won 10 seats. In 2011, it went up to 18 seats and got 12% of votes. With 6% share of votes, BPF has got 12 seats in 2011.

Against this scerio, no political party seems to be in a position to go it alone. The possibility of pre poll or post poll alliance cannot be ruled out. AIUDF supremo Badruddin Ajmal has made it clear that he will remain the prime mover in the event of a hung Assembly and alysts think it is the reality. As the assembly election is near, coming days will tell how the things unfold themselves. Till then, there will be assumption, presumption, calculation and also behind the door rapport among the leaders of the party. Voters have to keep their fingers crossed till the days of polling.

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