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AGP-BJP poll pact may queer the pitch for Cong and AIUDF

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BARPETA, March 17 - The alliance between the Asom Gana Parishad and Bharatiya Janata Party is surely to dim the prospect of Congress and AIUDF candiadates in No. 6 Barpeta Lok Sabha constituency which is going to the hustings on April 23.

Reports doing the rounds point out that the BJP offered the Barpeta seat to its alliance partner AGP. The AGP is likely to nominate Kumar Dipak Das as its candidate.

Till now, the Congress seems to be in a comfortable position as the party has done a lot to strengthen its organisational base in the area. Besides the AIUDF, whose nominee Sirajuddin Ajmal is holding the seat so far, has lost its previous strength. Under the circumstances, the Congress has relied on its previous stronghold of minority voters. But the last minute alliance between the two ruling parties has changed the equation of the Congress leadership.

An analysis of the statistics of 2014 general election shows that AIUDF nominee Sirajuddin Ajmal emerged victorious by bagging 3,94,702 votes, which is 32.73% of the total votes polled. His nearest rival, i.e., BJP nominee Chandramohan Patowary bagged 3,52,361 votes, which is 29.22%. The difference between the two is 42,341 votes. Congress nominee Ismail Hussain and AGP nominee Phanibhushan Choudhury polled 2,77,802 and 73,733 votes respectively.

The people in general and political analysts in particular then opined that the number of votes garnered by AGP nominee Choudhury was instrumental in defeating BJP nominee Patowary in the 2014 election. If the number of votes polled by the two is added together, it reaches 4,26,094, which is higher by 31,392 than the votes polled by the winning candidate Sirajuddin Ajmal.

The number of votes polled by the BJP then was considered as an unusual event as the party was known for its religious trump card, rather than development.

Barpeta Lok Sabha constituency consists of ten Assembly segments, namely Baghbar, Barpeta, Jania, Chenga, Patacharkuchi and Sarukshetri in Barpeta district, North Abhayapuri, South Abhayapuri and Bongaigaon district, besides Dharmapur in Nalbari district.

Baghbar, Jania, Chenga, Sarukshetri and Barpeta Assembly segments are dominated by religious minority voters. South Abhayapuri and North Abhayapuri Assembly segments have also 50 percent religious minority voters. So this segments of electors have been playing a pivotal role during the last several elections.

The AIUDF was successful in encashing on the fear psychosis of the minority voters during the 2014 election. But due to several reasons, the party lost its ground in this area.

Among others, inactivity of the incumbent MP Sirajuddin Ajmal created discontent among the rank and file of the party workers. According to information received, so far the party has decided to nominate former MLA from Jania constituency Rafiqul Islam this time.

Though the Congress has not finalised its candidate, but there is every likelihood of nominating a strong prospect from the religious minority group. If it happens, then there is the possibility of religious polarisation which will benefit the AGP-BJP nominee.

Moreover, the organisational base of the BJP is much stronger in the Hindu-dominated areas when compared to 2014. The trend has spread even to some minority-dominated areas, especially among the indigenous Muslims.

On the other hand, the Congress has lost its organisational strength in the Hindu areas where they garnered a considerable number of votes in the previous election.

After Beliram Das, Renuka Devi Barkataki and Uddhab Barman in 1998, no candidate belonging to the religious majorty group has been able to occupy the seat. However, the results this time will be influenced if members and supporters of the alliance partners works wholeheartedly to avoid any division of votes.

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AGP-BJP poll pact may queer the pitch for Cong and AIUDF

BARPETA, March 17 - The alliance between the Asom Gana Parishad and Bharatiya Janata Party is surely to dim the prospect of Congress and AIUDF candiadates in No. 6 Barpeta Lok Sabha constituency which is going to the hustings on April 23.

Reports doing the rounds point out that the BJP offered the Barpeta seat to its alliance partner AGP. The AGP is likely to nominate Kumar Dipak Das as its candidate.

Till now, the Congress seems to be in a comfortable position as the party has done a lot to strengthen its organisational base in the area. Besides the AIUDF, whose nominee Sirajuddin Ajmal is holding the seat so far, has lost its previous strength. Under the circumstances, the Congress has relied on its previous stronghold of minority voters. But the last minute alliance between the two ruling parties has changed the equation of the Congress leadership.

An analysis of the statistics of 2014 general election shows that AIUDF nominee Sirajuddin Ajmal emerged victorious by bagging 3,94,702 votes, which is 32.73% of the total votes polled. His nearest rival, i.e., BJP nominee Chandramohan Patowary bagged 3,52,361 votes, which is 29.22%. The difference between the two is 42,341 votes. Congress nominee Ismail Hussain and AGP nominee Phanibhushan Choudhury polled 2,77,802 and 73,733 votes respectively.

The people in general and political analysts in particular then opined that the number of votes garnered by AGP nominee Choudhury was instrumental in defeating BJP nominee Patowary in the 2014 election. If the number of votes polled by the two is added together, it reaches 4,26,094, which is higher by 31,392 than the votes polled by the winning candidate Sirajuddin Ajmal.

The number of votes polled by the BJP then was considered as an unusual event as the party was known for its religious trump card, rather than development.

Barpeta Lok Sabha constituency consists of ten Assembly segments, namely Baghbar, Barpeta, Jania, Chenga, Patacharkuchi and Sarukshetri in Barpeta district, North Abhayapuri, South Abhayapuri and Bongaigaon district, besides Dharmapur in Nalbari district.

Baghbar, Jania, Chenga, Sarukshetri and Barpeta Assembly segments are dominated by religious minority voters. South Abhayapuri and North Abhayapuri Assembly segments have also 50 percent religious minority voters. So this segments of electors have been playing a pivotal role during the last several elections.

The AIUDF was successful in encashing on the fear psychosis of the minority voters during the 2014 election. But due to several reasons, the party lost its ground in this area.

Among others, inactivity of the incumbent MP Sirajuddin Ajmal created discontent among the rank and file of the party workers. According to information received, so far the party has decided to nominate former MLA from Jania constituency Rafiqul Islam this time.

Though the Congress has not finalised its candidate, but there is every likelihood of nominating a strong prospect from the religious minority group. If it happens, then there is the possibility of religious polarisation which will benefit the AGP-BJP nominee.

Moreover, the organisational base of the BJP is much stronger in the Hindu-dominated areas when compared to 2014. The trend has spread even to some minority-dominated areas, especially among the indigenous Muslims.

On the other hand, the Congress has lost its organisational strength in the Hindu areas where they garnered a considerable number of votes in the previous election.

After Beliram Das, Renuka Devi Barkataki and Uddhab Barman in 1998, no candidate belonging to the religious majorty group has been able to occupy the seat. However, the results this time will be influenced if members and supporters of the alliance partners works wholeheartedly to avoid any division of votes.