Tag Archives: Assam Politics

Assamese; where is our self respect ?


We come second only to Spartans when we (the Assamese people) as a collective unit announce our glorious past to the world. Our “continued” “struggle” to establish our rights has no parallel in human history. Where we stand today is not a fault of our own, not of our people and our hypocrisy, mediocrity but of the fact that we were pushed to be a part of a nation that always took a step motherly attitude on us.

The flood issue in Assam is perennial. It is similar to how some pockets of India face drought or a crop failure. Assam as a state has a flood control board and also a Brahmaputra Board to look into the issue of perennial flood. Infact there are accounts of flood in Assam even from the 16th century when Musalman invaders were cut off from their supplies due to the severe floods and eventually defeated by the natives. But this game of flood, flood control and flood relief has becomes even more exciting post the 90’s. I agree that several issues pertaining to the NE states were not taken seriously by the centre. But the way the people in the state including the state govt, social organizations and government bodies have taken this forward is an example of the highest order of corruption both materially and morally.

To resolve the issue of drought in certain pockets of India and flood in other pockets of India many has suggested the idea of inter river linkage. The Assamese believe that this will dry up all our rivers. When there is a talk of a dam in our state, we believe that it will flood all of our land. There is one protest for each stand, both separate and mutually exclusive. The middle ground that can come forward as a solution from a comprehensive understanding of all threats is always never rationally argued or even attended. Coming to floods itself; we know it is coming. We will not question our State Govt. of its preparedness. We will not even question where the allocated funds from Centre to State went and regarding its utilization for flood control. But when flood comes few things will definitely come up:

  1. GoI must declare flood a national problem
  2. We need a 500/1000/2000 Crore package from Centre
  3. Media must focus on our floods

We will draw parallels on how other states have got support and we have been left out. Throwing a sense of helpless attitude we basically “cry” out as a community for help.  I still remember the Orissa cyclone and how each of us had donated Rs 20 to the school which eventually donated an amount to the PM Relief fund. Almost every school in Guwahati did that. Every year when floods happen in Assam how many schools does the same ? How different is our behavior in reacting to such floods. We can cry on Facebook, Twitter, on the streets and in front of the camera. But didn’t we know in December 2013 that floods will occur in Assam in 2014. Did our MP’s request Central Government for a package before the Budget? If the issue must be resolved by Centre itself, then has our State Govt ever made a study and based on that submitted a master plan for flood control to centre? Never …

A few days back Central Minister Sarbananda Sonowal convened a meeting under the direction of Cabinet Minister for Highways Mr Nitin Gadkari. None of the ministers, bureaucrats from Assam attended the said meeting. So even when centre is coming to help us, “ego” of our own people is pushing it back. If we show this respect to a minister from our land what stand will he receive at national stage? We will still shamelessly blame Central Minister for bad quality of roads in our state.

It is an open secret that flood control is one of the best ways of making money for all contractors, officials and even a cut from there reaches ministry. These set of people are also well respected in the society due to their financial standing. We cry for flood relief and yet the people who are the culprits behind the non execution of good flood control measures finds good stature in our society.

Forget floods. Promoting Sankerdeva, promoting tourism in Assam, conserving Majuli, saving our one horned Rhino, stopping infiltration, the list goes long. We wish that the centre with its magic wand solves all of it for us. We ignore that not Centre but good irrigation plans by respective State Govt. have resulted in a solution to drought. Obviously they have got support of central schemes. But such schemes exist for every necessity. Question is how well our own people are doing it. We aren’t. For last 13 years we have been happy because Congress could give salaries regularly and AGP couldn’t. Is it even a matrix to compare? A central government is for allocation and the state for execution. We need stronger state govt. who can execute things with an iron hand and with minimum corruption.  We don’t have that. That is our problem; we need to shift our focus there. If we as a race really wish to deserve a good society for us then our people must work and bring the good days. Self respect lies there … Not at the feet of the Central Govt.

2014 General Elections – Dibrugarh


Till 2004 Dibrugarh was one of the 4 constituencies in the entire country that never ever fell to a non Congress party. Then came the firebrand AASU leader Sarbanada Sonowal contesting on an AGP ticket who brought an end to the endless Congress victory. In 2004 Kamakhya Prasad Tasa from BJP came second with congress stalwart Paban Singh Ghatowar finishing third. Back in 2009 when AGP and BJP combined, Sarbananda finished behind Paban Singh Ghatowar in the ultimate race. Two different equation, different results. This time around the equation is even more tweaked; Sarbanada Sonowal is now the State BJP president and will most likely contest from Dibrugarh on a BJP ticket and has Kamakhya Prasad Tasa as a close aide helping him form a base around the tea tribe community which till now had been Paban Singh Ghatowar’s pocket votes.

Slides
The story of Dibrugarh in win-loss for the last 3 elections has been such:

Name of Constituency 2006 Assembly elections 2009 General Elections 2011 Assembly Elections

Moran

INC

INC

INC

Dibrugarh

BJP

AGP-BJP

BJP

Lahowal

INC

INC

INC

Duliajan

BJP

INC

INC

Tingkhong

AGP

INC

INC

Naharkatia

INC

AGP-BJP

INC

Tinisukia

INC

INC

INC

Digboi

INC

INC

INC

Margherita

INC

INC

INC

Although Congress won 8 of the 9 constituency seats in 2011 assembly elections yet 2014 will be a close contest. 3 years have passed on. Anti incumbency will run on the forefront in the Dibrugarh constituency being the home constituency of the BJP state supremo. Prashanta Phukan, the current MLA of Dibrugarh has been highly successful in motivating the urban population of Dibrugarh district against the rising issues faced during the years of Congress rule namely inflation, corruption, mis governance and the list goes on. In addition the BJP has to its advantage in the coming elections the Narendra Modi card which is expected to play well among the Hindi speaking population of Tinisukia and its adjoining areas. In Assam, Dibrugarh would be the constituency in second position when it comes to a count of urban voters. As the nation senses a strong wave among the middle class urban voters in favor of Narendra Modi, the effect might actually change the voting patterns in Dibrugarh, Duliajan, Tinisukia & Digboi areas. The tea garden belt and the Nepali speakers still remain as a reason of deep concern for the BJP and its star candidate Sarbanada Sonowal.

What Congress has as a major strong point is the presence of an extreme loyal voter base in the pockets of Dibrugarh. Even during the worst days of the Assam Agitation 5 of the 9 assembly constituencies that comes under Dibrugarh LS constituency fell to the INC. The loyal base comprises of the tea garden belt, the Nepali-Hindi speaking population. The Assamese population of the area mostly comprising of the Ahoms, Moran, Mataks and caste Hindus have surprisingly rallied behind the Congress for long. The INC ideology or call it freedom struggle nostalgia runs deep even among the mainstream population in these parts of Assam. BJP will have to target the section of first time voters among the Assamese mainstream, that is where its kill will lie. The INC has always enjoyed this position at Kaliabor, Jorhat and Dibrugarh. Moreover with a central cabinet minister position being given to Paban Singh Ghatowar, he has been able to implement a couple of schemes and projects in the areas. Not the best an MP can do, but still something for the people to see. From a stalwart student leader representing the tea tribes till national politics Paban Singh Ghatowar has been a heart throb of his people. Chances that BJP with a development agenda will be able to slash a few thousand votes from here are still difficult to imagine. Kamakhya Prasad Tasa does have a good rapport among the tea tribes, but will those votes turn back in favor of Sarbanada Sonowal is uncertain. They have to work very hard for this.
Cadre strength is one of the important variables when it comes to the question of winnability of a given candidate. With a long lying AASU career track behind and being seen as a person able to scrap the IMDT act, Mr Sonowal is still well respected and looked up to in the regionalist circles even after he joined the national party. It will be a test for him to motivate the entire cadre base of anti-congress voters in favor of BJP which till date hasn’t been so easy for BJP in Assam. The INC can boast of an extremely strong cadre base in Upper Assam. Yuva Congress, Mahila Congress, NSUI etc will romp in with all their strength in 2014, might even resort to anything under the sun. To beat such kind of a force, all that people considers Sarbanada Sonowal’s ability, his oratory, hard work, motivating capacity will come to test.

A recent positive development for the BJP is the inroad it has made into the Sonowal Kachari Autonomous Council. Obviously Sarbananda Sonowal himself being a Sonowal Kachari has helped them in the process and provided this continues till 2014, a certain number of votes from the plains tribes will shift from Congress to BJP. The other question that seems to be instrumental in the coming election is the question of ST status to Maran, Matak & Adivasis. The congress has not come out clearly on this where as time and again the BJP has voiced for the protection of the indigenous. This but is a far stretch, if a clear one line message comes from the BJP as an election promise in favor of the ST status then it will definitely change fortunes for Sarbananda Sonowal.

The AIUDF & AGP is far behind in the race for Dibrugarh. Although AGP won in 2004 it was more a victory of Sarbananda Sonowal. So the race for Dibrugarh is a clear BJP vs Congress battle. The margin in 2009 elections was 35,143 votes. In a general election that can be considered a small margin. Will Sarbanada Sonowal and BJP be able to bring down that difference in their favor remains a question? AGP cutting down on BJP votes is surprisingly not so much of an issue of concern as when it comes to Dibrugarh it is difficult to think of anyone other than Sarbananda whom AGP could have had projected strongly. Also the wave is such that in 2014 anti Congress votes are getting routed to BJP. The recent performance in GMC elections, Sonowal Kachari Autonomous Council elections of the BJP makes me believe that they are serious about Assam. Although I predict a neck to neck fight I will put my money on Sarbananda Sonowal over Paban Singh Ghatowar.

Every constituency has a story – 2014 Assam Elections, a possible tipping point?? – Mangaldoi.


I choose to begin with this constituency for a multiplicity of reasons. It was re-elections into this constituency after the death of MP Hiralal Patowary that brought into prominence the abysmal growth of immigrants of East Bengal origin into Assam and kicked of the Assam agitation. It is an unpredictable constituency, that’s second. But most importantly this constituency would be the closest choice while we look for an Assam in miniature both politically and demographically. Assamese speaking Hindus & Muslims, Immigrant Muslims, Bodos, Tea tribes all mix together is sizeable numbers to decide the result of this constituency. Before we begin an analysis of the constituency, let us have a close look at the results of the yester year elections of the constituent state assemblies of Mangaldoi constituency.

Name of Constituency

2006 Assembly elections

2009 Gen Elections**

2011 Assembly Elections

Kamalpur

INC

BJP

BJP

Rangia

CPI(M)

BJP

INC

Nalbari

AGP

BJP

INC

Panery

BPF

BPF

BPF

Kalaigaon

BPF

BPF

AGP

Sipajhar

INC

INC

INC

Mangaldoi

AGP

AIUDF

INC

Dalgaon

AIUDF

AIUDF

INC

Udalguri

BPF

BPF

BPF

Mazbat

BPF

BPF

BPF

 

**General elections do not declare state assembly constituency wise winners, this is just the majority party in the respective constituency as per number of votes polled.

From 1 assembly seat in 2006 the Congress has come up to 5 seats in 2011. The AGP-BJP combine that fought 2009 elections together have retained the same number put together. With BPF taking 3 of the 3 remaining seats, the AIUDF has been reduced to a zero. If one closely observes the alignment of the Bengali-speaking Muslims towards the Congress party, it is a definite alarm for the BJP to retain this seat. In addition with a clear message in the air that AGP and BJP will fight elections separately one can stop the analysis at this point and state that the seat is going to the Indian National Congress.

But before we stop there are a few points we cannot do away with, the majority Bodo and Muslim population are in a split post the 2008 and 2012 riots with the ABSU stating clearly that they will rally behind a party that supports the cause of the Bodos. It is worth mentioning that BJP was the party at centre that created a separate BTC for the Bodos. It is highly unlikely that both the Bodo and the immigrant Muslim community shall rally behind a similar party i.e the Congress. Also post 2011 elections the AIUDF has started to enter these constituencies with much greater efforts and specially sidelining the congress as a false sympathizer of the Muslims post 2012 riots they have portrayed Badruddin Ajmal as the messiah of all Muslims in Assam. This will definitely cut into the Congress vote base.

Knowing that it is practically impossible for the BPF to win the constituency, a sizeable portion of Bodos might want to choose an indigenous sympathizer and a non Muslim pacifier to be the winning party. Will BJP be able to tap these votes is a question of major concern. The Christian Bodo votes are not coming to the BJP and for obvious reasons. But amongst the Hindu Bodos and particularly in the riot hit areas with the kind of relief operations BJP and its umbrella organizations are involved in there is a good opportunity that lies ahead for them. The number of tea-tribe voters will not exceed beyond few tens of thousands but they do matter. And if BJP sees in them an opportunity knowing that they have been traditional vote banks of the Congress they will need to play the smartest of politics to woo them. With an indigenous plain tribal leader as state president and with a major tea tribe leader leading BJP from the front there is good chance for them to pull sizeable votes from the Bodos and the tea tribes.

BJP cannot expect anything from the Muslim voters be it the Assamese speakers or Bengali speakers minus a few who are not concerned about communal politics and believes only in development. Is this number high enough in Mangaldoi? Certainly not. It is expected that 2014 will see a huge voter turnout and given that the AGP is not in a good shape both Congress and BJP will be giving their best to win the Assamese Hindu voters, Congress with its multiplicity of schemes and BJP with a promise of development. And this is where I begin my final bit of commentary, on the incumbent MP and the works of his.

Ramen Deka was facing a definite weak Congressman in the last elections and his works in the past 5 years have not been really noticeable. This is where I think BJP needs to be a little cautious, with talks of a powerful state minister being pitted from Congress, a RS MP from AGP; BJP will need to decide on each and every clause to choose the right candidate. The AIUDF and BPF cannot certainly win Mangaldoi. If the battle is Ramen Deka vs a Congress stalwart with AGP also in fray then it is a Congress, Congress all the way. If all the equations I posted miraculously falls in favor of BJP with a good candidate, with the PM candidate charisma standing to work then there stands a chance for them to win. In all other probability it will be a congress victory unless AIUDF cuts into its entire Muslim voter base and BPF decides not to contest at all. If AIUDF combines with Congress, we do not even need an election at all.

KMSS and AAP can enjoy the battle but in case they wish to affect the equations, then they can tweak things a bit in favor of the Congress. They certainly cannot make any strong mark

Every constituency has a story – 2014 Assam Elections, a possible tipping point??


Rahul Gandhi, Digvijay Singh and other congress leaders might want to visit Assam once in a while to regain confidence, relax, feel that there is still some corner left in the country where they can roar like lions and feel like kings. Amongst the arranged army of youth congress, NSUI, mahila congress, x congress & y congress members they also feel a bit secure. Although the people of Assam has no choice but to absorb the stupidity of the Rahuls and Digvijays but 2014 seems set to break the trend. Following that it will be 2 interesting years till 2016.

One can only agree to the fact that the INC since 2001 has only been moving deeper and deeper into the voter bank of Assam. They have miraculously been able to build a strong cadre base of congress supporters in an otherwise regionalism flavored arena. The vigorous inroads made by the Congress has affected society at many nodes and joints. In my recent visits to a few villages of Assam, I witnessed few growing trends; Members of the party being the new aristocrats of the village, crony leaders in each possible circle (his/her maximum credentials being that of a youth/mahila congress ward committee president/secretary) & most painstakingly villages getting divided on party lines after the panchayat elections. Nowhere did I see politics empowering the last person of the democracy, but politics dirtying the last possible emblems of society. It was saddening. I saw young unemployed boys in motorbikes with attitudes of British lords having interest only in knowing which government contract will yield what margin as commission/corruption/collection or whatever you wish to call it. What was interesting a to some degree comforting to note were signs of a tipping point arriving in the near future.

Voices against the congress tactics of misleading public and particularly youths by showering nothing else but crispy notes were very much there in the air. To quote one man here, “the recent youth congress elections seemed larger than any state or national elections; it will decide who will get what syndicates, it is mockery in the name of inner party democracy”. One afternoon while walking to the marketplace of our ancestral village I met a group of school teachers interacting amongst themselves, and I who can hardly stop from joining any “leksar” (Assamese colloquial pronunciation for lecture) joined the ones double my age. It was one of those pleasant afternoons of October in Assam when you don’t wish to move away from the sun, and a few words from that discussion by one gentleman was hinting me that the tipping point is somewhere there.  “.. we know that communalism is bad, but we don’t fear BJP of communalism, we fear Congress of being anti-secular. In 2 of our neighboring districts of Baksa and Chirang we very well know who was playing the communal card and also realize that the congress can go to any extent to appease them… In Barpeta we are already a minority, if BJP doesn’t comes to power we will be shield less… ”. He made it sound simple. Ground level insecurity, anti-incumbency and burning decide the tilt of votes and not studio discussions of left and right. He was clear that BJP could do no more harm to the society of Assam than what Congress and AIUDF had already done. So it was better to have that party that would bring development rather than the ones which have left a bitter taste behind. His logic to me seemed sound. We in our coffee tables call it pseudo-secularism, polarism and favorism of Congress in our jargon. Qualitatively things seemed a little against the congress, but what works are the quantitative figures. Who won what ? Who won how many ?

In 2009 the Congress won 7 seats, the BJP won 4 & the AGP, BPF & AIUDF shared one each in the LS general elections. Since then till now a lot of water has flown by, with an extremely weakened AGP and split in traditional Congress votes things have slowly shifted in towards the BJP. Although a high profile drama just got ended but split within congress is still visible on many occasions and fresh in people’s minds. More importantly for the people of Assam the 2014 elections is a penultimate mandate before the future of the state is decided in 2016. With signs of BJP coming to power in the centre becoming distinctly visible many people have decided or will decide to give BJP a chance. With that if the mandate 2014 is even slightly tilted against the congress I will call 2014 the tipping point. From there on a hardworking BJP & emotionally driven AGP combination or BJP alone will show strong signs of being an alternative. With BPF & Gana Shakti cutting away tribal votes, the AIUDF cutting away the Muslim vote bank of Congress, and BJP making inroads into the urban voters and tea gardens of Assam anything will seem possible in 2016 unlike the previous 2 elections where no choice other than congress looked visible.

Coming to a case by case analysis of all 14 constituencies of Assam, one can surely sense that Dhubri will go to AIUDF. Kaliabor, Autonomous Hills District & Tezpur seems set for Congress. With old congress stalwart Ripun Bora returning into picture and Joseph Toppo under performing in his previous term over and above local leader Padma Hazarika’s rift with central leaders Tezpur is almost out of hands of the AGP. While Nagaon and Silchar seems too good a bet for BJP and Kokrajhar for BPF , the remaining 7 is where tough contest looks likely. In Karimganj it is the AIUDF and the Congress that will battle it out for the seat, Jorhat and Dibrugarh likewise seems to be a tough fight between the BJP and Congress. In Lakhimpur, anti incumbency against Rani Narah is appearing from the surface but a lot depends on the candidates the opposition pits against her. Nail biting finishes are set to occur in Guwahati, Barpeta and Mangaldai. With equal probability to all scenarios the ending figure will come close to AIUDF (2-3), BJP (3-5), BPF (1), AGP (0-2) & INC (4-6).  Qualitatively rise of AIUDF & fall of Congress with marginal rise of BJP seems evident. Although circles would want to dismiss a Modi wave, but it is certainly there as I felt across various regions of Assam. In addition, the new face of BJP in Assam through Sarbananda Sonowal and consolidation of urban and change hungry voting base is set to deliver something incremental for the BJP. The biggest worry of the state BJP unit was the absence of a leader people see as their own and wish to see as the CM. That is why traditionally even with power and numbers falling down AGP was placed above BJP in the race to be the people’s choice. With a back broken AGP and ex-AGP MP and ex-AASU leader Sarbananda Sonowal as the BJP state leader, Assam looks all set to make space for the other national party.

If all of this converges in BJP equalizing with Congress in 2014 then the road to 2016 will be much more fiercely fought, much more democratic with choice. More so because as long as AASU wants to play safe being the non-political whistle blower without making their own hands dirty more and more will regionalism loose in terms of political votes. AGP without a youth wing has already become grey. More and more the AASU tries to distance itself from politics trying to win the good share of everything and the bad share of nothing, more and more will the people of Assam distance itself from regionalism. Right wing nationalism might not be the end of the road for Assam, but through that people would want to see the non-congress side of affairs. It is important as well, for with each passing day one liners by Tarun Gogoi are becoming more and more unbearable.

(Begining the series of each constituency has a story. This will be follwed by 14 detailed articles on the 14 Lok Sabha constituencies of Assam. With my limited knowledge of highend affairs I hope to be able to present a close to real picture from ground. Your support and feedback is most welcomed)

AGP and BJP should take Guwahati Municipality Elections seriously


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The BJP has never been in power in Assam and the AGP has been out of it for the past 12 years. Political parties cannot assume themselves to be defacto alternative to an existing party in power. Governments don’t shift just by fate. Opposition parties have to concentrate on being a formidable force within and beyond the assembly or parliament. They have to be able in molding and representing the public voice against the current government. In short they have to remain connected to the electorate.

1422524A party has got few ways in which they can stay connected to the people. One is to have a strong cadre base and work on their respective ideology for maximum of the 365 days that constitute a year. Both AGP and the BJP don’t enjoy such a position in the state of Assam. The BJP has been out of power in centre for 9 years, but by portraying the development made in Gujarat, Bihar, and Chhattisgarh etc it is trying to gain mileage and keep their chances alive at the centre for 2014. Similarly, given that our country has multiple layers of governance, one another way of staying connected is to be part of local governments and perform well in them. This will help the parties run a campaign by setting this local governance as an example. Even this is not a position that either the AGP or BJP enjoys in Assam. Almost all local bodies, autonomous councils, Zila Parishads belong to the Indian National Congress. The ruling party has made a comfortable position across all layers of governments barring a few in which the major opposition is AIUDF.

Outside the world of representatives in the public sphere as well we see that the regional party is much under-represented today since yester years. The All Assam Students Union which was the mother organization of AGP is a distinct entity working towards regionalism and having no terms with the party on paper. Due to a series of successive losses the moral of the loyal supporters are also down. They might surely go and vote for the party but the zeal and enthusiasm is not visible. The BJP on the other hand has been growing at some pace but yet it has not reached a level where its chances look good. Moreover some hardcore ideologies of the BJP might play as political gimmicks in rest of India, but in Assam swaying voters on issues of hindutva is difficult. At times the lone resort of the AGP and BJP which comes as the issue of illegal immigration has been thrown so many times in the political centre stage that it has almost lost its charm now.

Finally although the BJP doesn’t have to face this but the AGP is surely blamed for being a defunct government for whatever reasons it might be. In the political blame game whenever the party raises an issue it is cross questioned on its initiative during its 10 years in power. So from all of this we see that the regional party and the national party have to both start almost from level zero. General elections are just a few months away and the state elections are due in 2016. At this juncture the Guwahati Municipal Elections come as a great opportunity for these parties to reverse the trend back to positives for itself. AGP has declared candidature for all 31 wards and 90 area representatives and the BJP is equally likely to do the same. Both parties are going ahead without a pre-poll alliance. Many political thinkers would welcome this and many would think otherwise.

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Flash flood during recent rains in Guwahati

But why do I think that both these parties need to take this seriously? Firstly, an important thing to note here is that in recent times the city of Guwahati has faced many civic issues; water-logging, landslide, solid waste management etc. There were spurts of anger and demonstration against the local MLA’s. Anti-incumbency as a factor against the congress is certainly a visible phenomenon. Secondly it will be easier for both the parties to convince people to give them a chance to represent them in GMC because the potential risk that people might perceive from voting these parties in MLA or MP election is much less in a local municipal election. Thirdly it is an easy election to manage compared even to panchayat etc where the scale is larger. Moreover as a substantial portion of the electorate is urban the parties can expect less manipulation and more rational voting. Lastly a finally let us look at a few stats from 2011 Assam assembly election:

Name of Constituency

Congress (%) AGP (%) BJP (%) AGP + BJP

Jalukbari

72.09

11.44 12.61

24.05

Dispur

41.48

37.37 14.51

51.88

Guwahati East

37.44

34.30 23.25

57.55

Guwahati West 34.50 22.45 27.31

49.76

                                                                                   *Data from Election Commission of India

In politics one plus one is never equal to two but the stats clearly shows that there is a sizeable percentage of anti congress vote. It will still remain a test for both these parties to avoid eating into each other’s votes thereby making way for congress to slip through. But given that these elections are more localized the probability that results might be more favorable to these parties if decent strategies are applied exists.

The chances for AGP and BJP might seem better compared to its chances in other elections when seen from results perspective. But still the reason both these parties needs to put all their might behind these elections is also at a consequential level. It is a golden opportunity for them to set a good foothold in the most major urban centre for the state. Given more elections are lined up in future, a good performance in this elections will certainly enhance their future chances if they fare well in their work of running the GMC. 10-12 years is a long period in politics, for these many number of years lot of things might have changed within these parties. AGP is not anymore a party of novice politicians; BJP has a new state President and has come a little away from its hard line stances. But both parties have yet not received a platform in which they can rectify their past errors or portray a new identity. This is one such opportunity. Lastly but more importantly, a substantial portion of the loyal supporters and cadres of the regional party or BJP after being de-motivated with 2011 results are lying silently and helplessly across the state. A good show will usher in faith in their minds to work more for the parties in upcoming elections. Even if they don’t gain majority but manage to win a sizeable number of wards all the given benefits will stand and also they will get a chance to come closer to the electorate and stay connected.

The AGP has been out of power since 12 years and the BJP has never had a taste of it in Assam. Parties like Shiv Sena in Maharastra have been out of power for a greater number of years. But the BMC has been won by the Sena on most occasions. They are still a reckoning force in Maharashtra state politics. It is because of their strong cadre base and at the same time because their activity is visible in some layers of governance. A good civic body is a minimum basic need that comes as more primary than any other government body. Making a strong point there will prove a lot of things and that is why AGP & BJP must take Guwahati Municipal Elections seriously.