The Bharatiya Janata Party won the 14th Assembly elections in Assam, overthrowing the Congress party which has been in power in the state for the past 15 years. BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Sarbananda Sonowal won in the Majuli constituency. He is set to be the first BJP chief minister in the state. Congress’s Tarun Gogoi has been the CM for the past 15 years. Interestingly, while the Congress got 31.1% votes, BJP alone got 29.5% votes. Together with allies, the saffron camp is set to make its debut in the east of the country. Eventually, the BJP won 60 of the state's 125 seats.
The state election was held in two phases on April 4 and 11, and saw a voter turnout of 84.7%. The major issues that decided the fate of the state were illegal immigration, inflation, employment, infrastructure and corruption.
Bharatiya Janata Party is a rather new entrant in the political scenario of the state. However, the saffron camp played safe and stitched alliance with local parties – Asom Gana Parishad and Bodoland People’s Front.
Even before the counting of votes began, Sonowal said the BJP will come to power with absolute majority and with allies 2/3rd majority. reported Times Now.
Rejecting the exit polls that have predicted a win for the BJP, Gogoi had said,"I don't accept exit polls...they have been found to be wrong. In Delhi elections, in Bihar also. Exit polls in 2011 also, they gave us 40, I got 78. So where is the relevance?"
Here's how the day unfolded:
2.14 pm: BJP has won in four constituencies, its leading in 55. Congress has won one seat, its leading in 25.
1:27 pm: AIUDF's Badruddin Ajmal trailing to Congress's Wazed Ali Choudhury. While 38% voters voted for Ajmal, Choudhury got 60% votes.
1.05 pm: Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Kushal Dowari wins in Thowra constituency.
12.25 pm: BJP spokesperson, Bijan Mahajan, says they won "because of the alliance of indigenous people of Assam, irrespective of caste, creed and religion". It was the victory of "sab ka saath, sab ka vikaas", he said
12.19 pm: "We voted [Congress] for 15 years but didn't get anything," said All Adivasi Student's Association of Assam leader Bikas Baraik. "It was 80% for Scheduled Tribe status [that we voted BJP]."
11:48 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulates party for its performance in the state. "Across India, people are placing their faith in BJP & see it as the party that can usher in all-round & inclusive development," the PM said.
11.42 am: Celebrations begin at the BJP's Guwahati office as results start coming in.
11.26 am: Union Minister Kiren Rijiju reacts to BJP's looming victory in state.
11.16 am: According to the EC data, the BJP has got 30.1% votes so far, and the Congress has got 31.7%.
11.00 am: BJP+ leading in 71 constituencies, Congress ahead in 31.
10.52 am: So far, Congress's vote share is higher than BJP's. While 31.5% votes have gone in favour of the Congress, 27.3% is for BJP: Election Commission data
10.45 am: AIUDF's Badruddin Ajmal trails in his constituency, Salmara South.
10.35 am: BJP ahead in 75 constituencies, with AGP ahead in 20 seats, AIUDF in 17 and the BPF in 10 seats. Congress is leading in 25 constituencies.
10.25 am: AIUDF is leading in 17 seats. It is closing is an the close third after Congress.
10.09 am: BJP+ is leading in Jagiroad constituency. The region witnessed the infamous Nellie massacre on February 18, 1983, which claimed 2,191 lives. People claim that the actual figures are much higher. Most of the victims were from the Muslim community.
10.01 am: BJP chief ministerial candidate Sarbananda Sonowal leading in Majuli, Gogoi ahead in Tatibor.
9.54 am: Now, the saffron camp is ahead in 66 constituencies, Congress in 22.
9.37 am: BJP+ leading in 54 constituencies, while Congress in 20 seats.
9.23 am: BJP+ ahead in 48 seats now, with AIUDF leading in 11 constituencies. Congress is ahead in 17 seats.
9.16 am: According to EC data, BJP+ leading in Dibrugarh, Moran, Lahoal and Tingkhong: ANI
9.07 am: BJP+ leading in 41 seats, with AGP 10, AIUDF 2 and the BPF 1. Congress ahead in 13 seats.
9.00 am: The saffron alliance goes on to lead in 23 constituencies, with AGP leading in 7, BPF in 1. Congress leading in 11 seats.
8.52 am: BJP+ now ahead in 13 constituencies and the Tarun Gogoi camp in 6.
8.50 am: BJP+ leading in 10 constituencies, Congress in 4.
8.45 am: BJP+ are in the lead in 3 constituencies and Congress in 2.
8.40 am: Hemanta Biswa Sarma leading in Jalukbari.
8.35 am: Ex-CM and AGP chief Prafulla Kumar Mahanta overtakes Congress candidate Suresh Bora in Barhampur.
8.30 am: BJP is leading in Dibrugarh.
8.28 am: Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi leading in Titabar.
8.20 am: Congress candidate Suresh Bora leading in Barhampur constituency, says Indian Express.
8.10 am: Like Bihar, BJP will only celebrate for first two hours, after that when picture gets clear we will celebrate, says AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal.
8.00 am: Counting begins for the 126 seats of the state Assembly
The BJP first made its debut in the state in 1991. Its rise in the state has been nothing short of meteoric. Only 15 years back, it haggled and settled for a measly 48 seats granted by then-significant-now-evanescent AGP. This elections, it turned the tables and gave only 24 seats to the state party, reported Swarajya. The Congress has ruled the state for 50 out of 69 years of independence. And if BJP comes to power, it might be the beginning of the party’s expansion to the eastern states of the country. The BJP has also roped in bigwigs from the Congress like Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is believed to be the man behind the rainbow alliance.
Last election, the Congress won 78 seats, the All India United Democratic Front 18, AGP 10 and the BJP won 5 seats.