GUWAHATI, April 24 - AIUDF’s decision to refrain from contesting in a majority of constituencies resulted in consolidation among the voters belonging to the indigenous communities who came out in large numbers to exercise their franchise in favour of the ruling NDA in the parliamentary polls, said State BJP president Ranjeet Kumar Dass.
Speaking to The Assam Tribune, Dass also claimed that a huge number of minority community voters in the State cast ‘conscience votes’ in favour of the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls.
“AIUDF’s decision to contest from only three constituencies raised certain questions in the minds of the people. That led to more polling in favour of the BJP and the NDA. Indigenous people voted in large numbers,” he said.
He accused the AIUDF and the Congress of having a tacit understanding. “People of Assam realised the agenda of the Congress and the AIUDF and came out to vote against them. That is why there was such high polling across the State,” said the State BJP chief.
It is noteworthy that AIUDF contested from only Karimganj, Dhubri and Barpeta constituencies this time. BJP had earlier accused the Badruddin Ajmal-led party and the Congress of having entered into an ‘unholy alliance’ for the Lok Sabha polls.
Dass claimed that the younger generation voters of Assam overwhelmingly supported the BJP this time.
“In addition, I believe that in places like Barpeta, Dhubri and Kaliabor many voters from the minority community exercised ‘conscience votes’ in favour of the NDA. Minorities have benefited under the government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Unlike earlier times, there have been no incidents of communal riots under the Modi dispensation. Minorities have benefited equally from the various social welfare schemes launched by our government,” said Dass.
He added, “BJP has received support from a sizeable section of minority community voters in Nagaon and Karimganj, among other seats. And in constituencies where BJP did not have its own candidates, many minorities cast ‘conscience votes’ for either the AGP or the BPF.”
As per the seat-sharing arrangement among partners of the ruling NDA, the BJP contested from ten constituencies of Assam, while the Kaliabor, Dhubri and Barpeta seats were allocated to the AGP and the Kokrajhar seat to the BPF.
Dass added that the so-called ‘rainbow alliance’ formed under the leadership of BJP in 2016 in the State, comprising various indigenous communities, Assamese Muslims, Bengali Hindus, Gorkhas and Hindi-speaking people, among others, has not lost its relevance and continues in practice.
Dass said that as per the feedback coming from various places across Assam, the ruling alliance is confident of doing very well in the parliamentary elections.
“This is not mere bravado. Since I assumed charge as president of the BJP’s State unit, we have won many elections. During the bye-poll to the Lakhimpur Lok Sabha seat in 2016, we had said that our candidate would win by a margin of 5,000 votes. But we ended up retaining the seat by a margin of almost two lakh votes. Then we claimed that we would win 24 out of the 26 seats in the elections to the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council. And that is what precisely happened. During last year’s panchayat polls we had said that we would emerge as the number one party and we did. We also won elections to various other autonomous councils in recent times,” said the senior BJP leader.