18 June, 2021

Serving Them A Full-Bodied Cuppa

The BJP did well to hold on to its 60 seats. A split of votes between the Congress-led front and the AJP-RD alliance saved their skin.

Photograph by PTI
Serving Them A Full-Bodied Cuppa

Ever since the phase of its electoral ascendance was inaugurated in Assam in 2014, this has been the toughest battle yet for the BJP. That it managed to retain its imprint, albeit with a trimmed mandate, speaks for its strategic nous, the vast political resources it brings to bear on winning elections, and also a basic skew in how its rival phalanxes were arr­anged. For, the BJP’s winning streak was maintained this time against a formidable challenge from two flanks.

On one side, vowing to end its run, was a determined formation led by the Congress, in alliance with the AIUDF, BPF and the Left. A third alliance—between two newly formed regional parties, the Asom Jatiya Parishad (AJP) and the Raijor Dal (RD)—too posed a distinct threat because of its potential to snatch away substantial portions of mainstream Assamese nationalist votes on the back of the contentious CAA. Despite large-scale protests against the Central law, a large percentage of anti-CAA votes had flowed to the BJP in 2019 in the absence of a credible alternative. That gap was now...

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