BJP Wins Assam: Road Ahead
BJP won Assam elections with the support of Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) & Bodoland People’s Front (BPF). The victory has strengthened BJP and weakened Congress in India. Let us analyze the major reasons for the victory of BJP and the future of Assam under BJP.
Major Reasons for BJP Victory
- Incompetent and Corrupt Congress Government. Just like the reasons for eviction of the Congress from the centre in 2014, the corrupt and incompetent Congress government of Tarun Gogoi was voted out of power.
- United Hindu Vote & Divided Muslim Vote. Hindu voters unified behind the BJP while the Muslim vote was split between Congress and the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF).
- “Jati, Mati Aaru Bheti” Slogan. During the poll campaigns, the intense call of the BJP to protect the indigenous people and their land and identity from factors like illegal cross-border immigration into Assam and other factors, worked tremendously in its favour.
- Expectation of Good Governance & Development. People expect better governance and development by electing the BJP.
Future of Assam Under BJP
- Illegal Migration. Assam shares only 263 km — of which 44 km is riverine — of the 4,096-km boundary between India and Bangladesh. Illegal migration will reduce with the convergence of approach on the subject between the centre and the state governments.
- Deportation of Illegal Migrants. Formulating a process for the return of illegal migrants back to Bangladesh rests on the Centre. This promise is unlikely to be fulfilled because the following reasons:
- Identification of illegal migrants is very difficult.
- Deportation requires cooperation of Bangladesh which will not be forthcoming.
- The process if undertaken with seriousness will result in protests, social turmoil and violence in the state.
- It will lead to deterioration of relations with Bangladesh, which are on an upswing and India has benefitted from the improved relations.
- Muslims.The Muslims did not vote for BJP and will feel increasingly insecure under the new government. BJP will have to make concerted efforts to make them feel secure and prevent religious violence.
- Development. Unfortunately for the Assamese, the pressure on the BJP government to deliver on the development front is not much because the performance will be compared to the incompetent Congress government. Even a below average performance by the new government would appear okay.
- Corruption, Law & Order, Flood Control, Reduction in Unemployment. On the above issues the new government will have to focus seriously with the help of the centre to consolidate their hold over Assam.
Advice to Assam BJP Government
BJP would do well to focus on good governance, improvement in law and order, flood control, reduction of unemployment and development and not get involved with the divisive subjects of promotion of ‘Hindutva agenda’ and deportation of illegal migrants in the interest of Assam as also its future in the state.