According to the exit polls, the BJP-led alliance could bag 79 to 93 seats in the 126-member assembly and take power in Assam, ending 15 years of Congress rule.

The India Today-Axis exit poll gave 79-93 seats to the BJP combine, 26-33 to the Congress, and 6-10 to the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF). ABP-Nielsen predicted 81 seats for the BJP coalition, 33 for the Congress, and 10 for the AIUDF. The NewsX Chanakya poll gave 90 seats to the BJP combine, 27 to the Congress and nine to the AIUDF. According to the Time Now C-Voter exit poll, the BJP and allies would get 57 seats, the Congress 41, AIUDF 18 and others 10.

In the last elections in Assam, the Congress won 78 seats, the AIUDF 18, and the BJP five seats, a stark contrast to the 70-90 seats (according to exit polls). The biggest national party of India seems to open its account in North East.  

Following the popular phrase “once bitten twice shy”, the BJP changed its traditional poll-strategy. For the first time in recent years it announced the name of its Chief Ministerial candidate, and also did not depend solely on ‘Modi-wave’. In fact, the party gave more space to local leaders during poll campaigns.  Anti-incumbency factor against three times Congress Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who is occupying CM’s office since 2001 would be counted as the most potent factor if the BJP wrests power.

Congress’ ambiguous policy on Bangladeshi-migrants and visible approach towards militant groups seems to have hurt the grand old party most. However, the person who stands out as the main player behind the probable landslide victory is Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who led the campaign from the front.

In case, if the result is hung-assembly, then Badruddin Ajmal led All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) well might be the kingmaker and it could negotiate either with BJP or Congress. The BJP will leave no stone unturned to grab the opportunity to form its government. After striking coalition with PDP in Jammu and Kashmir, the BJP has already shown that it can make alliances based on common minimum programmes.

Written By Raju Kumar/JPN

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