Exit polls project 2nd term for BJP in Assam; Cong says it isn’t the true picture

Most exit polls on the assembly polls in Assam, which concluded last month, have projected another term for the Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition in the state

Most exit polls on the assembly polls in Assam, which concluded last month, have projected another term for the Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition in the state. The exit polls, a poll of voters taken immediately after they exit the polling stations, have projected that the Congress-led alliance of 10 parties will come second while smaller parties clubbed as Others will have a negligible impact.

The votes will be counted on May 2.

The Assam assembly has 126 seats and a party or alliance needs 64 seats to form government.

The India Today predicts the BJP will get 75-85 seats and the Congress, 40-50 seats. A similar projection has been made by the Axis My India poll. News24-Chanakya gives 70 seats to BJP and 56 to Congress. The Republic-CNX poll gives 74-84 seats to BJP and 40-50 to Congress and Times Now poll gives 72 to BJP and 53 to Congress.

“I would not like to go into numbers, but according to me, the BJP and its alliance partners will easily get a majority and form the next government. The final figure may vary by few seats in comparison to 2016,” senior minister and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma told a local TV channel.

 

In 2016, the BJP came to power by winning 60 seats while its alliance partners, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) got 14 and Bodoland Peoples Front (BPF) secured 12 seats.

On the other hand, the Congress won 26 seats and All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) ended up with 13 seats. Both parties as well as the BPF, which switched over from the BJP-led alliance, are part of the Congress-led alliance this time.

The ABP-CVoter poll, however, suggests a very close contest between the two alliances. It projects 58-71 seats for BJP and 53-66 to the Congress alliance.

And exit polls have been known to go wrong.

“The exit polls don’t portray the true picture as the sample survey is very small. One can’t decide the result of a seat which has nearly 200,000 voters by talking to 15-20 persons. We are confident of a win and it will be clear on May 2,” chairperson of Assam Congress media committee Bobbeeta Sharma said.

The polls have predicted anywhere between 1-4 seats to ‘Others’; a reference to smaller parties and independents. This includes the two newly-formed parties Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) and Raijor Dal, which contested the polls together, as well as other smaller parties and Independent candidates who were not part of any of the pre-poll alliances.

“None of the alliances will get more than 55 seats this time and the third force of Assam Jatiya Parishad and Raijor Dal will play a crucial role in formation of the next government. The exit polls have failed to factor in the young and silent voters,” said president of Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) Lurinjyoti Gogoi.

While BJP contested on 93 seats, its alliance partners AGP and United Peoples Party Liberal (UPPL) fought from 29 and 11 seats, respectively. The Congress contested on 95 seats and the AIUDF and the BPF had fought elections on 20 and 12 seats, respectively. There were a few friendly contests among the allies in both alliances.

“The exit polls are on expected lines. The BJP encountered a tough election, but they fought it with equal preparedness leaving nothing to chance. The final figures may differ, but according to me BJP has a clear advantage,” said Akhil Ranjan Dutta, professor of political science in Gauhati University.

After May 2, the new growth mission for Assam will intensify: PM

Guwahati, April Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that the new Assam will be 'Atmanirbhar' and after May 2, the new BJP-led government would step up its developmental mission with a renewed zeal.

Modi said that many developmental projects, including road connectivity, have been accomplished and many more are being undertaken to transform Assam into an 'Atmanirbhar' state.

"The people of Assam are keen to go with peace and development... they do not want any division in society," the Prime Minister said, while addressing an election rally in Tamulpur in Baksa district.

The Tamulpur assembly constituency in western Assam would go to the polls in the third phase, on April 6. Congress ally Bodoland People's Front candidate Rangja Khungur Basumatary switched sides to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party earlier this week.

The Prime Minister, in his speech, urged militants who are still following the path of terrorism to lay down their arms and join the mainstream of life for building a peaceful and 'Aatmanirbhar' new Assam.

Saying that 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas' is the "basic mantra" of the party and its mission is to work for the country and its development, the Prime Minister said that the BJP is not doing vote bank politics.

Terming the Congress led 10-party 'Mahajot' as 'Mahajooth'(grand lie), Modi said that the Congress had betrayed all the ethnic communities in Assam.

"The people have rejected the parties attacking the identity of Assam for decades."

"The people of Assam in the first two phase of elections voted against the Congress-led 'Mahajot' (grand alliance) and gave their mandate for the double-engine government for the second time in Assam," Modi asserted.

Detailing the developmental projects being undertaken and already completed, the Prime Minister said that several big bridges have been constructed and half a dozen bridges are being constructed along with rural roads, by the double-engine government.

"Several hundred kilometres of new railway lines were laid in Assam and airports including the Guwahati airports modernised. All these infrastructure projects would create new job opportunities in Assam."

Of the three-phase elections to the 126-member Assam Assembly, the third and final phase of polling will be held in 40 seats on April 6.

Nearly 81 per cent of the 73,44,631 voters exercised their franchise in the second phase of polling in Assam on Thursday in the 39 constituencies.

Around 80 per cent of 81,09,815 voters cast their votes on March 27 in the first phase of polling in 47 constituencies.

The results will be declared on May 2. - IANS

Assam polls: Congress holds protest over EVM row

Guwahati, Apr 3 Following a controversy over a

polling team in Assam carrying an EVM in the vehicle belonging to the wife of a BJP candidate, the Congress on Saturday held a protest against the incident and alleged that the ruling party in the state is indulging in electoral manipulation.

Amid slogan-shouting by the party workers, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee president Ripun Bora urged the Election Commission to take strict action against the BJP leaders who carry out illegal activities that hamper the polling process.

The protest rally was not allowed to move forward on the busy arterial G S Road and stopped at the gate of the state Congress headquarters 'Rajiv Bhawan'.

Bora submitted a memorandum to Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime and Law and Order) Debaraj Upadhaya to send it to the Office of Chief Electoral Officer of the state.

Violence had broken out in Karimganj district of Assam on Thursday night after a crowd spotted the BJP candidate's vehicle being used to transport a polled EVM to the strong room, forcing the police to fire in the air to bring the situation under control.

The incident snowballed into a huge controversy on Friday morning with the opposition Congress and AIUDF alleging that the EVM was being "stolen", prompting the Election Commission to suspended four poll officials and order a repoll at the booth as a video of the fiasco went viral on social media.

According to a district official, the vehicle of the polling party of the 149-Indira MV School in the Ratabari constituency broke down on its way to the strong room in Karimganj town, and they took a lift on a private car.

Incidentally, the car was registered under the name of the wife of the sitting BJP MLA from Patharkandi Krishnendu Paul who is seeking re-election from the same seat this time, the official had said.

Ratabari is currently represented by BJP MLA Bijoy Malakar, who is contesting the election as well.

"Krishnendu Paul was found carrying an EVM in his car.

This was done in violation of the Election Code of Conduct and the laws laid down under the Representation of Peoples Act, 1951," Bora said, citing his party's memorandum.

He also alleged that people found several EVMs in a vehicle not requisitioned for election purpose near Hatipura polling station in Diphu town.

"Several voting machines were also seized in Jamunamukh constituency when being carried by government officials without security personnel. An EVM was missing from a polling booth in Kalaigaon segment," the Congress claimed in its representation to the CEO.

Congress Campaign Committee chairman Pradyut Bordoloi said, "We urged the EC to uphold the sanctity of political representation in a democracy and take action against the glaring misuse of power by the ruling regime in Assam."

"The party and the people are convinced that the BJP is rattled, that is why it is resorting to treachery to win the elections," he alleged.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission reduced the 48-hour campaign ban imposed on Assam minister and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma to 24 hours after he tendered an "unconditional apology" and assured the poll panel that he will abide by the provisions of the model code.

The BJP leader now can start campaigning from Saturday evening.

He was on Friday initially barred from campaigning- related activities till April 4 for allegedly making threatening remarks against Bodoland People's Front (BPF) chief Hagrama Mohilary.

The Congress had approached the EC demanding action against Sarma for his remark that Mohilary would be sent to jail through central probe agency NIA if he does "extremism" with rebel leader M Batha.

The BPF is an ally of the Congress in Assam. It was previously with the BJP.

Canvassing for the third and final phase of Assam assembly elections comes to an end on the evening of April 4.

The final phase of polling will be held on April 6.

The Assam Congress chief also urged the poll panel to take action against state minister Pijush Hazarika who allegedly threatened two journalists for reporting about a controversial campaign speech by his wife.

The minister is contesting from the Jagiroad constituency where polling took place in the second phase on Thursday.

Assam polls: 73.03 pc voter turnout recorded till 5.30 pm

Guwahati (Assam)  April 1  Assam recorded a voter turnout of 73.03 per cent till 5.30 pm on Thursday across 39 constituencies in 13 districts during the second phase of the state assembly polls, according to the Election Commission (EC).

The second phase of polling for assembly elections in the states of West Bengal and Assam began at 7 am on Thursday and is currently underway.
Voting for the second and penultimate phase of Assam assembly elections was temporarily stopped at polling stations at Silchar and Nagaon due to EVM malfunctions.
Over 73.44 lakh voters are eligible to cast their votes in the second phase of the elections. Of them, 37,34,537 are male voters and 36,09,959 are female voters, while 135 are third gender voters. The voting will be held on 8,998 polling stations and 556 of them are all-women polling stations.
A total of 345 candidates in 39 constituencies across 13 districts are in the fray in this phase of voting. Polling for the third and last phase will be held on April 6 and the counting of votes will take place on May 2. (ANI)

Modi attacks Congress at Assam poll rally, says NDA ensured peace and development

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday accused the Congress of giving "false guarantees" when it was in power at the centre and also in Assam at the same time earlier, and failed to provide security and stability in the northeastern state.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday accused the Congress of giving "false guarantees" when it was in power at the centre and also in Assam at the same time earlier, and failed to provide security and stability in the northeastern state.

The Congress can go to any extent for coming to power and this is evident from the "lies" that they are spreading through the manifesto, the Prime Minister said at an election rally in Bokakhat.

"When there was a Congress government at the centre and in the state at the same time, there was double neglect, double corruption, and double infiltration", he said.

"They had given false guarantees of providing employment and women empowerment," he added.

The double-engine NDA government, however, ensured that the foundation for development is laid and the state is connected with the rest of the country, while during the next five years there will be more all-around speedy development, Modi said

"Congress means lies, confusion, instability, violence, and corruption. The party's coffers are empty and they want to come to power at any cost to fill it", Modi said taking a swipe at the grand old party.

During Congress rule, people used to think will Assam be ever free of bomb blasts, guns, or violence and peace would prevail, but the NDA government has ensured that there is peace and stability in the state.

He also accused the Congress of patronising poachers, but the NDA government has ensured that rhino poaching is stopped and poachers are put in jails, while the famed Kaziranga National Park has been freed of encroachers.

The Prime Minister was addressing an election rally at Bokahat in the Golaghat district from where the minister and AGP President Atul Bora is contesting.

Modi also patted the BJP-led Assam government for stopping the poaching of rhinos, putting poachers in jails and freeing Kaziranga National Park of encroachers. “Congress patronised poachers,” he said.

Jailed Activist Akhil Gogoi Seeks United Opposition Candidate In Assam

GUWAHATI: A day after peasant leader and president of Raijor Dal in an open letter to opposition parties of the state said that he would not contest the ensuing state assembly polls if necessary, party members of Raijor Dal collected the nomination paper on his behalf for the Sivasagar constituency on Wednesday.

Gogoi who has been in judicial custody for over a year in a letter on Tuesday advocated fielding joint candidates against BJP’s in each constituency of the state to avoid vote division of anti-BJP voters. He said that if necessary he would not contests but all opposition parties must chalk a full-proof strategy to defeat BJP.

However, collecting the nomination papers on his behalf, Raijor Dal’s senior leader Dhaijjya Konwar said, “It’s confirmed that Akhil Gogoi will contest from Sivasagar and will have a landslide victory. People of Sivasagar want him to represent the constituency.”

Konwar added that Gogoi will submit the nomination papers within a day or two.

Earlier, Raijor Dal leaders said that they would join the ‘grand alliance’ led by Congress only if the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) walks out of it.

“We believe BJP and AIUDF are the two sides of the same coin. Both of them are fundamentalists. To defeat one fundamentalist force, we can’t take the support of another one. With AIUDF, Raijor Dal may consider joining hands with the grand alliance led by Congress,” the party’s senior member Bhasko De Saikia said.

Raijor Dal has already forged an alliance with Assam Jatiya Parishad, the regional front floated by All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad (AJYCP).

Also Read: APCC alleged CM Sonowal over occupying state guest house amid imposition of Model Code of Conduct in poll-bound Assam