North East

Assam Polls: Congress Vs Himanta and Sonowal


This year’s Assam state assembly election will be dominated by the intense tussle between the INC and BJP and it wouldn’t be incorrect to term this struggle as one between the entire Congress party on one side and Dr. Himanata Biswa Sarma and Sarvananda Sonowal on the other.

sonowal    himanta-1There was a time before when Dr. Himanta was Chief Minister Gogoi’s most trusted aide and for years served as the INC’s de facto Kingmaker, being the key mind behind Tarun Gogoi’s  triumph in two consecutive state assembly elections. However, after falling out with Tarun Gogoi, he left the party and formally joined BJP on August 28th, 2015. The ecstatic welcome he received from the cheering masses when he arrived at Guwahati airport from Delhi made it very clear to the Congess party establishment that he will be their biggest challenge yet in the upcomming state assemply polls. Although the Chief Minister tried to downplay the issue by saying that Himanta’s absence will not affect the party in any way, however his words were far from the truth as the party establishment knew very well that the loss of an influential leader like Himanta was surely going to affect the party’s performance in the upcoming election.

On the other hand is Sarvananda Sonowal, a former AGP member on whose leadership the BJP performed its best ever in the state during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Sarvanada has asubstantial knowledge of  Assam’s political landscape and hence it isn’t surprising if he hasn’t got a few tricks up his sleeves. The presence of these two influential leaders has not only had a marked positive influence of BJP workers but also on the general populace of Assam who hope for a better tommorow

In the last few days, it has become clear that BJP is gaining big with the presence of these two leaders in the ranks of their party. Himanta Biswa Sarma with his eminent personality and mass appeal among the populace of Assam, was assigned in charge of leading the party’s election campaign which was a clever move on their part as no other political rally managed to garner enough public support as the rallies of Himanta.

Victory and defeat are at the crux of any elections but one thing that has stood out in recent times is that the  people of Assam have found a new leader in Himanta Biswa Sarma after Assam Agitation leader Prafulla Kumar Mahanta.

BJP, it seems has gained new momentum after inducting high profile leaders from INC and AGP into its ranks, with AGP’s Sarvanada Sonowal and several other leaders on one hand and INC’s influential leader Himanata Biswa Sarma on the other. The cumulative effect of inducting these high profile leaders seems to be taking a toll on INC.  According to an estimate, in this year’s polls for the 126 seats in the Assam state legisature, the party wise breakup of seats is asfollows:-

BJP- 39-44

INC- 27-31

AIUDF- 13-19

BPF- 9-13

AGP- 9-13

TMC- 0-2

Independent- 0-2

If these estimates are taken into perpective, BJP clearly seems to be the heavyweight but it still won’t be clear till 19th May when poll results are declared as to who finally forms the government in Assam.


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