Exit polls have showed that BJP and its allies are headed for a convincing victory, its maiden one, in Assam.
The results will be soon out for Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry, West Bengal and Assam. The counting of votes is scheduled for May 19.
While the results may mark a breakthrough for BJP in Assam, they showed that Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) is all set to regain power, beating incumbent Jayalalithaa’s All India Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).
Most of the exit polls by TV channels showed that the Congress is also set to lose power in Kerala to the CPM (Communist Party of India-Marxist)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF), and Mamata Banerjee coming back again in West Bengal despite a spirited fight by the Left -Congress combine.
The Congress is likely to win the tiny Union territory of Puducherry where it will gain power in alliance with the DMK.
“Our historic victory in Assam will open new frontiers for the BJP in the northeast,” BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav said.
The poll by Axis My India cites several reasons for the expected defeat of the Tarun Gogoi-led Congress government in Assam that has been ruling the state for the past 15 years.
According to the survey, anti-incumbency against the Congress is the major reason, while the popularity of BJP candidate Sarbanand Sonowal (46 per cent) against an ageing Gogoi is another reason. Sentiments against Bangladeshi infiltration will also play a major part.
The BJP has said the party will seal the Indo-Bangladesh border if it comes to power in Assam. The party had also raised the issue of unemployment of the state which is 23 lakh now from only four lakh in 2001.
The BJP has been asking the people in almost all its rallies not to vote for the Congress, claiming it might threaten the indigenous Assamese identity by paving way for a ‘Bangladeshi’ to become the deputy chief minister.
During election cmapaigns, the BJP has also highlighted the boost to connectivity in the region after the NDA came to power in 2014. People in Assam’s Barak Valley got the first ever direct train to Guwahati, 68 years after India’s independence. The Silchar-Guwahati Fast Passenger train was flagged off on September 21 last year.
The saffron party has forged an alliance with the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and the Bodoland Peoples’ Front (BPF).
In the outgoing Assembly in Assam, the Congress had 78 seats and the BJP 5.
With the satisfaction of overthrowing Congress in Assam, a win will also boost the party’s political momentum it has lost due to looses in Delhi and Bihar. In addition, it will also shape the party for the upcoming UP Assembly Polls in 2017.