May 2: Surprises awaited!

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As the polling for all the phases in Assam completed on Tuesday, all eyes are now locked on May 2 – the counting day. 2021 Assembly polls might easily make it to the most interesting political battle of the state. With old time rival parties Congress and BJP taking the lead roles and wooing as many votes as possible. The issues that took the centre stage this time around included development, unemployment, price rise and most importantly CAA, among others. The entire battle became even more interesting with two new political parties debuting in this election. Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) formed by powerful and influential student leaders of All Assam Students Union (AASU) and Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP), while another Raijor Dal (RD) formed by peasant leader Akhil Gogoi. Both the parties are being seen as the key factor in this election.

Notably, both these parties are known to have a strong anti-CAA agenda in their mind in fact they were even formed after the anti-CAA protests in the state. Not far behind is the Congress who decided to gather more forces and fight the 2021 poll battle unitedly to oust the BJP. Backed by AGM, AIUDF, BPF and Left parties they have titled themselves as the ‘Mahajot’ (Grand Alliance). The BJP supported by UPPL and AGP is eyeing to make a clean sweep and once again form the government. Now if the trends (as reported by the media) are anything to go by, it seems that no party will be able to cross the magic number this time. Given the anti-CAA sentiment and the debut of AJP and RD, BJP is having a tough time to retain its seats in upper Assam. And the Congress led ‘Mahajot’ is indirectly banking on AJP and RD to cut the vote banks of BJP and thereby help its own candidates. It will be very difficult for the ‘Mahajot’ to form the government without the help of either AJP or RD, which again looks quite unlikely at this moment. The BJP on the other hand, might fare well in lower Assam areas with the support from UPPL and AGP but that might not be enough to shadow the threat it is getting from the AJP, RD and the ‘Mahajot’ in upper as well as middle Assam. The independent candidates will also play a major role in helping to make the next government. With many old faces being denied tickets by the Congress and BJP, a good number of these political heavyweights opted to contest independently this time around.

All in all Assam is all set to be heading for a hung assembly in 2021 and it would be interesting to see who gets the last laugh after the results on May 2. The Congress has come up stronger now than it was in the last assembly elections, while the BJP looks to be losing out on some key seats but then again is still the most formidable party and a front runner in the race to Dispur. AJP and RD might be debutants but have shown quite zeal in making the votes count. Both its leaders are well known faces and have a large support base in the state, therefore, making them the key factor in forming the government. Come May 2 and there might even be more surprises than expected!

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