The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday literally swept the civic elections in Assam, winning 38 of the 74 municipal boards and town committees, election to which were held on Monday. The ruling Congress party, which had won 71 boards and committees five years ago, was left to content with only 17 bodies. The municipal elections were considered as semi-final to the state assembly election due early next year.
The BJP’s win came despite the Congress aggressively campaigning against the saffron party’s allegedly false promises made during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections in relation to several major issues relating to Assam. The Congress had also tried to capitalize on the BJP apparently offending the people of Assam by terming them as “immigrants” in its Vision document for the Delhi assembly polls.
“The people of Assam have not only reposed faith in the BJP in a big way as they did in the 2014 Lok Sabha election, but have also rejected the Congress party that has been in power for 14 years in a row. The people have also signaled that the Congress will be voted out in the 2015 assembly elections,” state BJP spokesman Rupam Goswami said.
Chief minister Tarun Gogoi however said election to the municipal boards and town committees would not have an impact on next year’s assembly elections. “The vast majority living in the rural areas will decide the assembly elections,” Gogoi said. The most significant municipal body where the Congress lost is Gogoi’s home town Jorhat.
The Congress, which had in 2009 won 517 wards, could win only 232 wards this time. Elections were held for 30 municipal boards and 42 town committees on Monday, which together comprised of 746 wards. Election was however not held at three wards. The BJP and Congress were locked in a tie in four towns, while no party could win a majority in ten towns. Final results of two towns Golaghat and Silchar were yet to be declared till late evening.
The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) has won a majority in two towns, Bongaigaon and Patacharkuchi, while the NCP has won a majority in Mariani.
The 38 towns where the BJP won a majority are Gohpur, Biswanath Chariali, Rangapara, Bihpuria, Sarupathar, Barpathar, Abhayapuri, Nazira, Lala, Lakhipur (Cachar), Chabua, Tihu, Badarpur, Nalbari, Dergaon, Pathsala, Kharupetia, Naharkatia, Margherita, Palashbari, Jorhat, Sarthebari, Dhemaji, Dibrugarh, Hojai, Dhekiajuli, Barpeta Road, Bilasipara, Sapatgram, Lumding, Raha, Namrup, Doomdooma, Lakwa, Dhubri, Gauripur, Nagaon, Tezpur.
The Congress on the other hand won majority in the following 17 towns: Narayanpur, Teok, Moran, Morigaon, Karimganj, Hailakandi, North Guwahati, Amguri, Lakhipur (Goalpara), Titabor, Mangaldoi, Howli, Chapakhowa, Lakhimpur, Daboka, Makum and Tinsukia.
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