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Polarization in Assam’s politics in offing?

With the end of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) ‘honeymoon’ after two years, a lot of changes are going to take place in Assam’s political circle. During last Lok Sabha elections BJP and AGP came together to defeat Congress party, in which BJP played the role of big brother and there was an understanding that in the Assembly elections of 2011, the AGP would be the big brother and BJP would support the alliance candidates. Since the results of Lok Sabha elections were disappointing for the BJP-AGP alliance, a sign of mistrust prevailed in the minds of both parties’ leadership. There was a feeling among the minds of AGP leaders that most of the BJP electorates did not support the alliance candidates leaving the results in distress.

Now, since the time for Assembly elections are coming closer, the alliance partners changed their minds. The relation between a national and another regional party had to decide their ways of working. The AGP decided to look after the regional interests and announced its separation from the alliance. The BJP kept its national interests at the top and has decided to fight the elections on its own. Attempts of all the political parties are to allure the voters with their slogans to look after the interest of all section of the people. These slogans are now outdated and have no meaning.

The AGP being in power for long ten years could not solve the problems for which it was formed. The Congress party has always taken opportunity to rule over the state by Britishers' policy of ‘divide and rule’. In its eyes the BJP is a communal party and AGP is unable to fulfill the aspirations of the people as the funds for developments are to come from the Center, where Congress is in power. In recent times it has come to light that after nine years of Congress rule in Assam the money received from the Central government for development of the state’s various projects, were misused. Corruption in administration is high and several cases of corruption are being investigated by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Branch The media and NGOs have brought such misappropriations of funds cases to light. The rupees one thousand crore scandal of North Cachar Hills, irregularities in Public Distribution System(PDS),PMGSY,NREGA and most of other Central government sponsored schemes could not be implanted and the funds misused by certain ministers and powerful persons for their own welfare.

This has raised doubt in the people’s mind about the outcome of the next elections. If the same party comes to power again, the state’s economy would be jeopardized heavily. The Leftists have an eye for having an alliance with AGP on the condition, it does not have any link with BJP. The Assam United Democratic Front (AUDF) led by Badaruddin Ajmal is reported to have changing moods in selecting the right partner Congress or AGP. Other smaller parties are not in position to bring any change. Of course Independents also file their nominations for their personal gains. The BJP is reading the mind of people of the state. Since majority of the electorate wish to have a change, it feels to perform better than before. But it has to select the candidates who have grass root bases, otherwise wise it would be disastrous for them as was proved during the Rajya Sabha elections.

The most discouraging aspects for all these political parties is that the electorate of the state are divided in groups between a number of tribes and casts. The Bodos, Kacharis, Misings, Karbis, Dimasas etc; have their own dreams of welfare and they feel that these political parties could not look after their welfare. They are likely to support the candidates who look into their interest and belongs to their own community.

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Daya Nath Singh's picture

Journalist; Guwahati Press Club office Secretary

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