The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) could be headed for a second straight term in power in Assam, according to exit polls on Thursday. The exit polls declared in unison that chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal had an upper hand in the northeastern state that has 126 assembly seats.
2016 results: The BJP won 60 seats, while its alliance bagged 86 in total. The Congress won 26. Others grabbed the remaining 14 seats.
Aaj Tak-Axis: BJP+ 75-85, Congress+ 40-50
Today’s Chanakya: BJP + 61-79, Congress+ 47-65
Republic-CNX: BJP+ 74-84, Congress+ 40-50
ABP-CVoter: BJP+ 58-71, Congress+ 53-66
Jan Ki Baat: BJP+ 70-81, Congress+ 45-55
The battle for Assam
As the BJP looks to retain power for a second straight term, it has adopted a multi-pronged strategy of highlighting its development work and schemes, while attacking the Congress for aligning with the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF)’s Badruddin Ajmal, who the ruling alliance says is as an enemy of the Assamese identity. In Assam, the AIUDF is perceived to be a party having the support of Bengali-origin Muslims from Bangladesh, who many contend pose a threat to the state’s cultural identity.
At the same time, the citizenship law has put the BJP at odds with local sub-nationalist politics, but the party is confident that its outreach efforts will yield results. Anti-CAA stance is a major pillar of the campaign being run by the opposition Congress-led alliance. On the other hand, the new law is missing from the BJP’s manifesto.
Exit polls have got it wrong often in the past with a section of analysts arguing that the mood of a handful of voters surveyed could not represent the true picture.