The BJP looked set to make a historic debut in the Northeast on Thursday with early assembly election trends from Assam showing the party could surge past the majority mark in the state.
Trends reported at 10am showed the BJP ahead in 76 of the state’s 126 constituencies – way over the halfway mark of 64 –Congress-led alliance led in 30 and Badruddin Ajmal’s All India United Democratic Front in 15. Most state Congress ministers trailed their BJP rivals in constituencies.
The saffron party has never won an election in Assam and was described as a party of the Hindi heartland by its political opponents in the poll campaign.
The BJP appeared ahead in most of the direct contests with Congress candidates. In the state’s religious minority-dominated constituencies, the Congress is ahead of AIUDF candidates.
AIUDF supremo Maulana Badruddin Ajmal trailed his Congress rival Wajid Ali Choudhury in the South Salmara constituency in Muslim-dominated Dhubri. The Congress candidate has taken lead of over 3,000 votes over Ajmal.
Chief minister Tarun Gogoi led his rival Kamakhya Prasad Tasa of BJP by over 4,000 votes in Titabor constituency. Tasa is the BJP MP from Jorhat. He was bidding for his fourth straight term.
BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Sarbananda Sonowal opened up a lead of 3,713 votes on his rival Rajib Lochan Pegu of the Congress in Majuli constituency at the end of two rounds of counting.
Former chief minister and Asom Gana Parisad leader Prafulla Kr. Mahanta lead his rival Suresh Bora of the Congress by over 4,000 votes in the Barhampur constituency.
In Kamrup Metro district, the BJP-led alliance led in all four constituencies of Guwahati East (BJP) , Guwahati West ( AGP), Dispur ( BJP) and Jalukbari ( BJP).
Assam witnessed an all-time high turnout of 84.72% during the two-phase polling on April 4 and 11. The highest polling was in Jaleshwar seat (93.53%) and the lowest in Silchar (75.05%).
The BJP forged a pre-poll alliance with the AGP and Bodoland People’s Front. The BJP contested in 89 constituencies, AGP in 30 (including friendly contest in six with alliance partners) and the BPF in 13 constituencies.
The Congress contested in 122 constituencies and its alliance partner UPP (United People’s Front) fielded candidates in the remaining four. The AIUDF fielded candidates in 74.