GUWAHATI, May 14 – The Congress swept the elections to the Assam Legislative Assembly by winning 78 of 126 seats, while the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were completely routed. The All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) and the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) also improved their tallies and the Trinamool Congress managed to open its account by winning the Hajo constituency. The Left parties failed to open their account.

The Congress even managed to surpass its own expectations in the elections and almost all the heavyweights of the party managed to win with handsome margins. The only notable loser among the Congress was senior member Bharat Chandra Narah, who was defeated by Naba Kumar Doley of the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) in Dhakuakhana constituency.

The AGP recorded its worst ever performance since the formation of the party following the signing of the Assam Accord in 1985 as the party only managed to win 10 seats this time and the fate of the BJP is also similar as the party managed to win only five seats. The AIUDF managed to become the major opposition party in the Assembly by winning 18 seats. However, there will be no Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly this time as a party requires minimum of 21 seats for its legislature party leader to get the post.

A number of prominent leaders of the AGP and BJP lost the polls. The president of the AGP, Chandra Mohan Patowary lost to Nilamani Sen Deka of the Congress in Dharmapur constituency in Nalbari district. Deka received 50,768 votes while Patowary managed to secure 45,433 votes. The president of the State unit of the BJP, Ranjit Dutta also lost the elections. He was defeated by Congress newcomer Pallab Lochan Das in Behali constituency by a margin of over 18,000 votes.

Though former Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta managed to win from Barhampur constituency by defeating Congress candidate Suresh Borah, he lost in Samaguri constituency to Rockybul Hussain by a margin of more than 19,000 votes.

A number of other senior members of the AGP had to bite the dust in the elections. Former Minister Atul Bora was defeated by Akon Bora of Congress in Dispur constituency, another former Minister Ramendra Narayan Kalita came a poor third in West Guwahati constituency, party general secretary Hitendra Nath Goswami lost in Jorhat constituency, senior member Dr Alaka Sharma lost in Nalbari, former Minister Dr Kamala Kalita lost in Chaygaon to youth Congress leader Rekibuddin Ahmed and former party president Brindaban Goswami lost to Rajen Borthakur of the Congress by a margin of over 20,000 in the prestigious Tezpur constituency.

The Congress performed beyond expectations all over the state including the Barak valley where the BJP lost its stronghold. In the last elections, the BJP and the AIUDF performed well in the valley, but the Congress managed to regain its position in the valley this time. The Congress also did well in the Hill districts of NC Hills and Karbi Anglong despite the Opposition claims of gaining ground in the districts.

Almost all the senior leaders of the Congress managed to win by handsome margins. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi defeated his nearest rival of the AGP by a margin of over 50,000 votes in Titabor constituency while, Himanta Biswa Sarma created a record by defeating his nearest rival Pradyut Bora by a margin of over 77000 votes. Among other Congress heavyweights, Dr Bhumidhar Barman defeated former Assam Assembly Speaker Pulakesh Baruah of the AGP by a margin of over 6,000 votes, while GC Langthasa defeated his nearest rival Kulendu Daulagapu (BJP)by a margin of over 25,000 votes in Haflong and Ajanta neog was elected to the Assembly from Golaghat.

The BPF not only managed to retain its position but also won seats from outside the Bodoland Territorial Council area.

It may be mentioned here that in the 2006 polls, the Congress managed to win 53 seats and form the Government by forming an alliance with the BPF. This time the Congress managed to win absolute majority and the party will be able to form the Government on its own. But as the Congress president Sonia Gandhi has already assured to form an alliance with the BPF, the existing alliance is likely to continue.

The AGP managed to win 24 seats in 2006 and the party’s strength went up to 25 after Prafulla Kumar Mahanta rejoined the party. But there has been a marked decline in the performance of the party this time and will not be even the major opposition party in the State Assembly. The BJP also managed to win 10 seats in 2006 but its performance also came down despite all the senior leaders of the party campaigning in the State in the run up to the elections.