BJP wipes Cong out of Assam tribal council by winning 24 of 26 seats
The BJP contested the Council election for the first time, but had been ruling the council for a year after most of the executive members switched over to it from the Congress last yearindia Updated: Jun 24, 2017 17:19 IST
The right-wing BJP has done what an extremist Left-wing party did almost three decades ago — wipe the Congress out of a troubled tribal council in Assam.
The BJP won 24 of the maximum 26 seats in the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC), the elections to which were held on June 17. The final result was declared on Friday.
The BJP contested the KAAC election for the first time, but had been ruling the council for a year after most of the executive members, or EMs, switched over to it from the Congress last year.
The remaining two seats went to the newly-formed Karbi Anglong Democratic Forum that backed 13 Independent candidates. EMs of the council who were denied tickets by BJP had formed the forum, which is believed to be the saffron party’s ‘B-team’.
The Congress had contested all seats, as did the BJP and the regional Hill State Demand Council party. The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), otherwise an ally of the ruling BJP in Assam, contested 14 seats. Almost all the BJP candidates won by a comfortable margin over their nearest Congress rivals, while the candidates of AGP and other parties cut a sorry figure.
For the Congress, the outcome is a throwback to the 1989 KAAC election, when the Autonomous State Demand Committee (ASDC) — a Marxist-Leninist party — bagged 22 seats.
Till that year, the Congress had been contesting the council elections indirectly by supporting the now-defunct Karbi Adorbar, a regional party.
Karbi Adorbar managed only one seat in 1989, a major fall for the party that was the single largest in the first Karbi Anglong council election in 1978. The Congress ruled KAAC from 2001 to 2015, having formed the last council in 2011 with 15 EMs.
“The KAAC election results reflect the mood of the people, who believe BJP can bring a change in their lives,” Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal said on Friday. The new council is scheduled to be formed by next week.
First Published: Jun 24, 2017 15:59 IST