The second and final phase of assembly polls in Assam, to be held on Monday, is being touted as a litmus test for the ruling Congress-at least in 22 of the 64 constituencies dominated by the migrant Muslim population.
The polls will also decide if the pro-minority All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), which won 10 seats in its maiden elections in the Congress stronghold of lower Assam five years ago, was a one-election wonder.
Everyone’s wondering if the party will manage to erode the Congress’s Muslim vote bank.
“We’re not a spent force, as some people are saying,” AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal said. “We will win more seats this time and emerge a key player in forming the government.”
Assam has a total 126 assembly constituencies, of which 62 voted on April 4. The remaining 64 constituencies are spread across 14 districts. Muslims are a majority in six of the districts, thus dictating terms in 22 seats.
They are also a factor in another 20 seats, while the Bodo tribals control 12 seats in four districts straddling the Bodoland Territorial Council.