GUWAHATI: The BJP has set its eyes on around 40 of the 47 Assembly seats which are going to poll in the first phase in Upper Assam and the North Bank on March 27.
Of these 47 seats — during the 2016 Assembly polls — the BJP won 27, the Congress registered wins in nine, the AGP (Asom Gana Parishad) got eight, and two went to the AIUDF (All India United Democratic Front) while an Independent candidate won a seat.
The BJP seems to have thrown its full weight on these seats where the electorates comprise mostly indigenous people. The ruling party is in a mood to wrest some of the Congress-held seats from these 47.
The campaign of the ruling party is very intense in these seats. While Union Minister Smriti Irani campaigned on Saturday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh are set to campaign on Sunday. The other star campaigners in the line-up for campaign in these 47 seats also include Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The nine seats that went to the Congress from these 47 LACs in 2016 are Rupahi, Sorupather, Titabor, Mariani, Nazira, Sivasagar, Doomdooma, Golaghat and Samaguri. In 2016, the Congress won the Golaghat seat with the candidature of Ajanta Neog who is now fighting for the same seat, although on a BJP ticket this time.
After the death of former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi the Congress' grip on Titabor seat seems to have weakened. CLP (Congress Legislative Party) Leader Debabrata Saika will have to sail against an anti-incumbency wave in his Nazira LAC. To cap it all, the Congress is lagging far behind the BJP insofar as campaign for these 47 LACs is concerned.
While the BJP-AGP combine has been campaigning non-stop in Upper Assam for the past two months, the Congress, AJP (Assam Jatiya Parishad) and the RD (Raijor Dal) are of the wrong notion that they will capitalize on the anti-CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) wave. The ground reality, however, remains that the anti-CAA wave met a vacuum and vanished in Upper Assam now. Maybe, the Congress' decision to go with the AIUDF in the poll has helped the ruling alliance to rid of the problem in Upper Assam where most of the voters bear the indigenous sentiment.
The Congress-AIUDF strongholds among these 47 seats are Dhekiajuli, Kaliabor, Sootea, Dhing, Bhatadrava, Rupahihat and Samaguri. Even as the Congress and the AIUDF stitched an alliance, its acceptance on seat-sharing at the grassroots level is still very poor.
The 47 seats comprise some LACs of Sonitpur, Nagaon, Lakhimpur, Biswanath Chariali, and entire Upper Assam from Bokakhat to Sadiya.
The second and third phases of the poll have many seats that are considered strongholds of the Congress and the AIUDF.