GUWAHATI, June 4 - After having swept the recent parliamentary polls by winning nine out of the 14 Lok Sabha seats in Assam, the ruling BJP is now working to further strengthen its organisational base in the State as well as increase coordination with its alliance partners in the NDA as part of its ‘Mission 100’ plan for the next Assembly elections due in 2021.
Sources in the State BJP said that the Lok Sabha poll results have given a major boost to the party and the aim is to sustain the momentum over the next two years.
“We are looking at securing at least 100 out of the 126 Assembly seats in Assam in 2021. The recent parliamentary polls have shown that we can achieve what many of our opponents had considered impossible. So we want to keep up the momentum over the next two years and capitalise on it,” a senior State BJP leader told The Assam Tribune.
He added, “In the run-up to the 2016 Assembly elections, we had set a target to win 84 seats. We surpassed the target and the BJP, the AGP and the BPF ended up securing 86 seats among themselves. Likewise, in the recent Lok Sabha polls, our party on its own was able to win nine out of the 10 seats where we fielded our own candidates. So the figure of 100 Assembly seats is very much realistic for the NDA.”
In the 2016 Assembly elections, the BJP had emerged winner in 60 seats, while its alliance partners AGP and BPF had won 14 and 12 seats respectively. The ruling coalition also got the support of the lone independent legislator.
Later, one Congress MLA left the party, quit his seat and joined the BJP. He was re-elected on the BJP ticket in a bye-election.
BJP sources said that all the constituents of the NDA would fight the 2021 Assembly polls unitedly.
Asked about the lacklustre performance of the AGP and the BPF which together had contested from four Lok Sabha constituencies in the recent elections but failed to open their accounts, a BJP leader said, “Parliamentary elections and Legislative Assembly polls are totally different ballgames. The Kokrajhar constituency, which the BPF contested in the parliamentary polls, comprises many Assembly segments which fall outside the BTAD region and that was a disadvantage. However, in those Assembly segments of BTAD area which fall under other Lok Sabha seats like Mangaldoi and Barpeta, the NDA candidates did very well in the Lok Sabha elections.”
He added, “It is true that the AGP faces many internal problems. But we hope the regional party will be able to sort out the issues in the near future. Besides, the AGP has dedicated vote banks in many parts of the State.”
BJP sources added that the party is working at further strengthening coordination with its allies.
“Elections to the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) are due to be held soon, followed by elections to various other local urban bodies. These electoral battles will help us lay the groundwork for 2021,” said a leader.
The saffron party has already announced its intention to fight the elections to the GMC and other urban local bodies on its own and without any alliance.
In the just-concluded Lok Sabha polls, the NDA partners had led in 82 Legislative Assembly Constituency (LAC) segments of Assam. While the BJP came first in 67 of those, the AGP had led in 11 LAC segments and the BPF in four segments.