AGP ( Asom Gana Parishad an emotionally charged party created after 1985 AASU Accord ) is routinely written off recently by all types of media as well as intellectuals in Assam while maintaining that Congress is certain to come back to power again for the third time in a row.
While, AGP is not favourably high lighted in recent media, the hard facts of the results from 2006 points a slide of vote share by Congress from 2001 assembly election by 7.05 percentage points while AGP has increased its vote share by 0.37 percentage points, despite the fact that Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, two time chief minister left AGP to form AGP(P) who got vote share of 2.51 %.
Now the situation has changed, P K Mahanta has not only returned to AGP, but also become leader of opposition now. The people who despaired due to break up of AGP in 2006 election would now come back to AGP. So, even if they remain a same vote share of 2006 assembly election, they might increase their vote share from 20% to 23% which may get them another 10 seats and increase their tally to 30.
If Congress continues its slide, then it may come down to 40 seats. There are many seats where it will find difficult to retain seats while AGP has potential to win back many seats which were otherwise handed over to Congress on a platter in 2006 election. Few examples are Gahpur, Dhemaji.
One major problem with AGP presently is, they have not been able to spread their achievements forcefully to many people. Also they are lacking in some powerful ‘Vision statement’. There is no clear, firm and visible opinion on the present burning issues in Assam which might become election issue in the coming election.
Few of them are :-
1. Bodoland demand
2. ULFA Fiasco
3. Price Rise
4. Big dams in Arunachal Pradesh
5. Corruption at the national level, its repercussion in Assam as well as corruption in Assam.
6. Tribal aspiration with Sixth Schedule demand by almost all tribes in Assam.
In its vision statement, AGP has to provide practical scheme for employment generation for highly educated youths in Assam, restore peace and harmony among various tribes, mainstream Assamese society.
Finally, most probably, Assam needs a strong regional party which should keep coming to power after every 5 years or 10 years.
Our next on the same topic would be : How Congress hope to retain Power in Next Election in Assam ?