GUWAHATI, May 19 - Bringing an end to the 15-year-old Congress rule in Assam, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its alliance partners came to power winning 86 of the 126-member State Assembly, while the Congress managed to win only 26 seats. A number of members of the Congress Ministry as well as a former Union Minister were defeated in the elections in the face of the wave in favour of the BJP-led alliance.
The BJP was the biggest gainers of the Assembly elections as the party on its own managed to win 60 seats. In the 2011 elections, the BJP managed to win only five seats. This year, riding on a popular wave, the BJP managed to improve considerably not only in the Brahmaputra and Barak valleys but also in the hill districts.
The BJP’s alliance partner, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) managed to win 14 seats. The party had won 10 seats in the 2011 elections and following the alliance with the BJP, the party managed to improve its position. The Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) made a strong comeback after its dismal performance in the last Lok Sabha polls and managed to win 12 seats. In the last Assembly elections also, the BPF managed to win the same number of seats. At that time, the BPF was an alliance partner of the Congress, but this time the party forged an alliance with the BJP.
The biggest loser of the election was the Congress. The Congress had won 78 seats in the 2011 polls and its seats came down to only 26 this year. Similarly, the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) also suffered setback as its number of seats came down from 18 in 2011 to 13 this time. Even the president of the AIUDF, Badruddin Ajmal lost from South Salmara.
BJP’s chief ministerial candidate, Sarbananda Sonowal was elected to the Assembly from Majuli constituency defeating former Minister Rajiv Lochan Pegu by a margin of 18,923 votes. Sonowal received 49,602 votes, while Pegu received 30,679 votes.
AIUDF president Badruddin Ajmal lost to Wazed Ali Choudhury of the Congress in South Salmara constituency. Choudhury got 80,066 votes, while Ajmal received 63,343 votes.
AGP president Atul Bora has been elected to the Assembly defeating Arun Phukan of the Congress by a margin of over 40,000 votes in Bokakhat constituency. Former Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta defeated Suresh Bora of the Congress in Barhampur constituency by over 5,000 votes. Senior BJP member Chandra Mohan Patowary defeated former Minister Nilamani Sen Deka of the Congress by over 33,000 votes in Dharmapur constituency. Former State unit president of the BJP, Ranjit Dutta defeated Rupak Sarma of the Congress to be elected to the State Assembly. AGP’s Phani Bhushan Choudhury maintained his winning streak by defeating former All Assam Students’ Union president Sankar Prasad Roy, who contested in Congress ticket in Bongaigaon constituency. This was Choudhury’s seventh consecutive win in the constituency since starting his political career. Former Minister in AGP-led Ministry, Pradip Hazarika defeated Angkita Dutta of the Congress in Amguri. Dutta is the daughter of the APCC president Anjan Dutta. Hitendra Nath Goswami of the BJP was elected from Jorhat defeating his nearest rival Rana Goswami of the Congress, while senior AGP leader Brindaban Goswami defeated his Congress rival Hiranya Bhuyan in Tezpur constituency.
The BJP-led alliance made a clean sweep of the seats in Guwahati. In Dispur constituency, Atul Bora of the BJP defeated former Minister Akon Bora by a huge margin of 1,30,197 votes. In Jalukbari constituency, Himanta Biswa Sarma defeated Niren Deka of the Congress by a margin of 85,935 votes, Siddhartha Bhattacharya of the BJP defeated Bobbeeta Sarma of the Congress by a margin of 96,639 votes in Guwahati East, while Ramendra Narayan Kalita of the AGP defeated Juri Sarma Bordoloi of the Congress by a margin of 89,910 votes.
Despite the BJP-led alliance sweep, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi was elected to the Assembly from Titabor constituency. Gogoi defeated his nearest rival Kamakhya Prasad Tasa of the BJP by a margin of 17,495 votes. Former Minister Ajanta Neog defeated Bitupan Saikia of the BJP by a margin of 5,213 votes in Golaghat, while another former Minister Rakibul Hussain defeated Jitu Goswami of the BJP in Samaguri constituency. Assembly Speaker Pranab Gogoi has been elected to the Assembly by defeating Surabhi Rajkonwar by a margin of only 542 votes.
A number of prominent leaders of the Congress, including former Ministers, had to bite the dust in the face of the wave in favour of the BJP-led alliance.
Former minister Pradyut Bordoloi was defeated by Bhaskar Sarma of the BJP by a margin of over 23,000 votes in Mergherita constituency.
Among other a former ministers, Gautam Roy was defeated by Suzam Uddin Laskar of the AIUDF in Katlichera constituency, Prithibi Majhi was defeated by Rituparna Baruah of the BJP in Lahowal, Bishmita Gogoi was defeated by Mrinal Saikia of the BJP in Khumtai constituency, Bharat Chandra Narah was defeated by Naba Kumar Doley of the BJP in Dhakuakhana, Atowa Munda was defeated by Bimal Borah of the BJP in Tingkhong, Chandan Kumar Sarkar was defeated by Ananta Kumar Malo of the AIUDF in Abhayapuri (South Constituency), Nurzamal Sarkar was defeated by Promod Borthakur of the BJP in Biswanath, Tanka Bahadur Rai lost to Ganesh Kumar Limbu of the BJP in Barchala, Sarat Barkataki lost to BJP’s Tapan Kumar Gogoi (a former AASU general secretary) in Sonari, Ajit Singh was defeated by Mihir Kanti Shome of the BJP in Udarband constituency, Siddique Ahmed was defeated by Aziz Ahmed Khan of AIUDF in Karimganj South, while Pranati Phukan was defeated by Naren Sonowal of AGP in Naharkatia. Former Union Minister Paban Singh Ghatowar also lost to Chakradhar Gogoi of the BJP in Moran.