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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Explained: In Assam, why smaller parties may play bigger role

Assam elections: With the state set for a triangular contest, regional parties have tied up with the BJP-led alliance, the Congress-led alliance and a third alliance of the AJP-RD.

By: Express News Service | Guwahati |
Updated: March 19, 2021 3:59:37 pm
BJP president Ranjit Kumar Dass (C), Assam Gana Parishad president Atul Bora (L) and UPPL president Promod Boro (R) raise hands for their alliance for Assembly polls, during a press conference, in Guwahati, Sunday, March 7, 2021. (PTI Photo)

In the upcoming elections in Assam, a number of regional parties are expected to play a bigger role because of their influence in certain pockets and the alliances they have formed. Some of the important regional parties in the fray this poll season are: the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF), United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL), Asom Jatiya Parishad (AJP), Raijor Dal (RD) and Anchalik Gana Morcha (AGM). With the state set for a triangular contest, these parties have tied up with the BJP-led alliance, the Congress-led alliance and a third alliance of the AJP-RD.

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BJP camp

United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL)

A regional party in the Bodoland region of the state, which came to prominence late last year after it joined hands with the BJP to form the ruling alliance in the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC). The party is led by Promod Boro, former president of the All Bodo Students Union. He was one of the signatories of the peace and development accord signed by the Centre with different Bodo groups. The UPPL will contest eight seats in alliance with the BJP and engage in ‘friendly’ contests against the BJP in three seats.

Congress camp

Bodoland People’s Front (BPF):

An influential party in the Bodoland region led by Hagrama Mohilary that was in alliance with the BJP and had three ministers in the outgoing government. They recently joined hands with the Congress-led grand alliance. The BPF holds 12 seats in the outgoing Assembly.

In the elections to the BTC in December last year, out of the 40 elected seats, UPPL won 12, BJP nine, GSP one, Congress one and the BPF won 17 seats. A prominent leader of the BPF and Rajya Sabha member Biswajit Daimary resigned to join the BJP last year and is contesting on the party’s ticket this time too.

The BJP did not ally with the BPF to rule the BTC, but joined hands with the UPPL instead.

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Anchalik Gana Morcha (AGM):

A new party formed by veteran journalist and Rajya Sabha MP Ajit Kumar Bhuyan. They are contesting from two seats in the alliance.

Third alliance

Asom Jatiya Parishad (AJP) and Raijor Dal (RD)

The anti-CAA movement in Assam gave birth to two new regional parties — Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) and the Raijor Dal (RD) — late last year.

The AJP has the backing of the two most influential youth bodies of Assam, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP). The party is led by Lurinjyoti Gogoi, who is the former general secretary of the AASU.

Peasants’ leader Akhil Gogoi, who has been in jail for over a year now, and will contest elections from prison, leads the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS). The Raijor Dal party was formed last year by the KMSS and 70 other organisations representing ethnic communities. The AASU, the AJYCP and the KMSS were all instrumental in the anti-CAA agitation.

In at least nine seats, the parties are in a contest against each other.

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