Assam Decides 2016
Nagaon/Barpeta/Dhubri: Twenty-three of 61 assembly constituencies in the second phase are Muslim-dominated. BJP’s shrill poll campaign on ‘protecting Assamese identity from influx from Bangladeshis’ is likely to impact the second phase. Muslim voters in central, lower and western Assam are expected to go for the Congress and the All India United Democratic Front.
BJP is contesting only 36 seats in this phase. However, its allies Asom Gana Parishad and Bodoland Peoples Front have a major stake, contesting the reaming 25. AIUDF had in 2011 won 17 seats here. Assam has around 34% Muslims. Political analyst are of the view that the Congress has made a grand comeback in minority belts. “In Muslim-dominated Barpeta, the Congress has made a comeback after losing the Lok Sabha seat to AIUDF. Congress has good organisation base here and in the last one year it has aggressively campaigned in the area.”
Sartaz Ali a voter in Dhubri said, “We will vote for either AIUDF or Congress, depending on which candidate is capable of winning. In Dhubri, the Congress may not do well and AIUDF may get major seats.”
Political analyst Haider Hussain told ET, “across the country there is a feeling among minorities that they need to strengthen Congress and the party can pro- tect them.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday addressed public rally in minority-dominated Barpeta where he spoke about his recent visit to Saudi Arabia. “I have recent visited Saudi Arabia where Mecca is located” he had said though he was to later claim, “we do not do politics in the name of religion, caste, language and creed. We believe in inclusive development.”