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Assam Phase 2: Acid test for Cong

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. Rahul Karmakar reports.

india Updated: May 13, 2011 12:33 IST
Rahul Karmakar

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.

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