In Assam, the activities are on full swing. The picture is almost clear as major alliances have already taken place and the formation of Third Front has taken back seat. Attempt by Left parties with Asom United Democratic Front (AUDF) and a few others could not bring any fruitful result.
Major and important alliance of regional Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and national Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has puzzled the ruling Congress in the state. The important figures in the ruling party, including the chief minister, Tarun Gogoi and the party’s spokesperson, Himanta Biswa Sarma have made strong remarks against the alliance showing their concern for the regional character of the AGP. They have taken it as the ‘regional party has surrendered before a national party’. While making such remarks they forgot that their party has also made such attempts and still trying to get support from the smaller groups and independents not only in Assam but throughout the country. The AGP has ridiculed the concern for regionalism by the Congress leaders. Taking a dig at the Congress, the party has said that the outbursts from the senior leaders of the Congress regarding the alliance were clear indications of the fear rising in the Congress camp.
The BJP functionaries have pointed out to the media persons that the pattern in the Lok Sabha polls showed that the combined strength of the BJP and AGP would have totally routed out the Congress. The BJP state vice president, Palit Bora recently said that the Congress was aware of this fact and that is the reason they were worried about the alliance.
It may be mentioned in this context that the BJP appeared in the political scene of Assam in the year 1985 and succeeded in securing 0.37 per cent votes in the Lok Sabha polls. The AGP had secured 33.55 percent, while the Congress had secured 23.43 per cent votes. The AGP got seven seats and the Congress only four, but BJP failed to open its account. Looking to the voting pattern of the last Lok Sabha elections, it was clear indication that the AGP-BJP combined would have emerged the winner.
In the 1991 Lok Sabha polls, BJP got 9.06 percent votes and won two seats. The AGP got 23.47 percent votes and secured one seat, while the Congress securing 28.49 percent votes wrested 8 seats. In the Lok Sabha polls of 2004 the BJP got 30.72 percent votes and won two seats and AGP getting 19.90 percent votes got two seats. The Congress got 34.97 percent votes and bagged 9 seats.
Afraid of BJP-AGP alliance the Congress leaders are trying to break it giving the name of regional and national alliance. The voters are watching the trend with great interest. The concern for the region by the ruling party indirectly indicates that it has failed to perform its responsibilities towards the state’s development; otherwise there was not reason to be much concerned.