The quick answer to above question, how Congress can come back to power again in 2011 Assam Assembly election, is by forming coalition! Congress party in Assam has resigned to the fact that they can not now come back power on their own till BPF ( Bodoland People’s Front) and AUDF (Asom United Democratic Front) exist in Assam. Many believe that Congress mainly gets votes from minority community, tribal communities as well as tea estate workers.
Many opine that it is almost certain that Congress will come back to power again in 2011 election, may be with reduced number of seats, but they are in much stronger position to form an alliance of multiple parties to form government.
Congress is already in alliance with BPF which is certain to win at least 15 seats, so numerically Congress just needs to win 48 seats to reach simple majority in Assam’s 126 seats Assembly. Recent reports says that Congress is trying to forge an alliance with AUDF. But most probably, it is unlikely as in that case BPF may look for alternative alliance for power, either way BPF will try to be in government.
Recently, Congress has announced support for sixth schedule to few tribes in Assam which can be seen as master stroke to garner tribal votes. If this move backfires, then AGP or BJP will gain from it, and in a scenario where there is no alliance between AGP and BJP, this split of votes s likely to help Congress only, either way Congress is likely to gain. It can be termed a master stroke by Congress strategist for winning tribal votes in Assam.
Fragmented opposition in Assam is another opportunity for Congress to win more seats. Though BJP has some strong areas, still it is unlikely to win sizable seats to pose any threat. AGP has acute leadership crisis as well as they have not been convincingly inclusive of all communities in Assam. A quick glance in AGP ranks shows that it does not have sizable representation from Ahoms and tribals.
During last 10 years of Congress Rule, law and order situation has been conducive for business and development. Though Congress government has not achieved any spectacular development, but benefits of India’s massive 8-plus percent growth are visible in Assam too. This could be exploited by Congress to win votes from many undecided voters.
There are few remarkable achievements from Congress government like Health Care, transportation which is acknowledged by all. Congress has now built up visible youth brigade which may prove to be crucial to garner votes from young voters in Assam. Young voters are now days vote in big numbers.
Corruption, Anti-incumbency as well as Akhil Gogoi and issues raised by him could be major hurdles by Congress in coming back to power in Assam. Akhil Gogoi has been successful in putting Congress leaders on every issue raised by him.
Our Next Article in this series : Can BJP increase their tally in Assam in 2011 Assembly election ?