Congress retains Assam with marginally reduced percentage

Assam retained its image as a traditional Congress state in the Lok Sabha election, though it conceded two seats and its vote percentage marginally declined to 38.26 per cent from 39.45 per cent in 2004.

Every Lok Sabha election since Assam first went to the general elections in 1952, the Congress has emerged as the major winner.

Even when the state was ruled by the regional AGP for two terms in 1985 and 1995, the Congress continued to be a formidable opponent for all political parties.

The Congress, which contested 13 of the 14 seats this time, won in seven, losing the rest to BJP, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and new regional party the Assam United Democratic Front (AUDF), garnering 47.48 per cent of the ballots, according to election office records here.

The Congress's heavyweight and union minister Santosh Mohan Dev lost in Silchar due to the entry of the AUDF which took away a major chunk of Congress minority votes.

AUDF also dealt a blow to Congress in Dhubri.

Another major Congress loss was Tezpur which was attributed to the controversies and allegations of non-performance surrounding its contestant sitting MP Mani Kumar Subba.

The minority backed AUDF made its debut in the Lok Sabha marking the entry of its leader Maulana Baruddin Ajmal into national politics.

It registered 26.19 per cent votes in the seven constituencies it contested in, though it won one seat.

The BJP's attempt to get a foothold in the state, riding piggy-back on the AGP paid off with the party doubling its seats to four and securing 38.22 per cent votes in the seven constituencies it contested.

The saffron party came a close second to the Congress leaving behind alliance partner AGP in third position which secured one seat, grossing 33.46 per cent ballots in the six constituencies it put up candidates.

The AGP this time lost one of its two seats that it had won in 2004 with a 19.9 per cent mandate.

The AGP lost Dibrugarh on an anti-incumbency wave there, while in Lakhimpur the voters felt a disconnect with their AGP sitting MP Dr Arun Sarma.