Guwahati: If the development plank the
Congress rode on in the two previous elections endeared itself
to voters in Assam, the near-absence of militancy for a
considerable time made the party`s position stronger in the
2011 assembly election.
Absence of major militant violence ever since the arrest
of top NDFB and ULFA leaders, including its chairman Arabinda
Rajkhowa and others, two years ago and their participation in
the peace process were evidently given thumbs up by the voters
who elected the party to the third consecutive term.
Unlike the earlier elections since 1991 held under the
shadow of insurgent violence, the two-phased polls on April 4
and 11 were held peacefully with the major militant outfits
like the ULFA and NDFB keeping out of the democratic process
and instead engaging in peace talks with the government.
Tarun Gogoi would become only the second person in the
turbulent history of the state after Bimala Prasad Chaliha to
adorn the chief minister`s post for the third consecutive
The Congress, which had a vote share of 32.7 per cent in
the 2006 assembly polls winning 52 seats in the 126-seat
House, romped home to victory bagging 78 seats.
During the last 10 years the astute politician in Gogoi
understood the pulse of the people who want only basic
amenities for a comfortable life and concentrated on creating
His slogan `raijor podulit sarkar` (government at the
doorstep of the people) was an instant hit with the voters.
Gogoi made efforts to introduce novel pro-people
development schemes coupled with improved utilisation of funds
from the Centre and aggressively implementing its welfare
schemes during his two previous terms.
For the AGP, BJP and other parties, their campaign issue
of Congress corruption proved a failure and failed to generate
a strong anti-incumbency sentiment.
AGP`s attempts to forge a grand alliance of opposition
parties to free the state from the `corruption-ridden Congress
rule` remained a dream.
Though they had last time won 24 seats with a 25.59 per
cent vote share, this time they were reduced to just 10 seats
with their president Chandra Mohan Patowary and top leaders
The AGP could not make their connect with the people at
the grass root level and take their campaign to the voters by
using their support at the panchayat level as they had lost
the local elections during the last five years.
Though it had won the assembly elections in 1985 and
1991, the AGP has been on a downslide since 2001 when it was
drubbed in the assembly and local body elections due to, what
the voters claim, acute financial condition they pushed the
state into, rise in unprecedented militancy and lack of job