GUWAHATI, March 30 - As voters of the State get ready to exercise their franchise in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls, it is interesting to note that even though the Congress party dominated the electoral landscape of Assam for many decades after Independence, there has been a change in the trend during the recent elections.
In the first Lok Sabha polls held in 1951-52, there were 10 parliamentary constituencies in Assam. Of those, eight were �single-member� constituencies and two were �double-member� constituencies.
So, the total number of seats from Assam was 12.
The Indian National Congress (INC) won 11 seats, while the Socialist Party (SP) got one seat in the State.
In the General Elections held for the second Lok Sabha in 1957, the INC secured nine seats from Assam, while two seats went to the Praja Socialist Party (PSP) and one to an Independent.
The �double-member� constituencies were done away with during the third Lok Sabha polls, which were held in 1962.
The INC won nine out of the 12 seats of Assam in the 1962 General Elections. The PSP got two seats and one seat went to the All Party Hill Leaders� Conference.
By the time of the fourth Lok Sabha election, the number of constituencies in Assam increased to 14.
The polls held that year saw the INC bagging 10 seats, while the PSP got two and the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the All Party Hill Leaders� Conference were able to win one seat each.
The INC virtually swept the 1971 General Elections in Assam by winning 13 out of the total 14 constituencies. The All Party Hill Leaders� Conference secured the remaining one seat.
In the post-Emergency polls held in 1977, the INC got 10 seats from Assam. Another three constituencies went to the Bharatiya Lok Dal (BLD) and one to an Independent.
The 7th Lok Sabha polls of 1980 were not held in the Brahmaputra Valley. However, voting took place in the two constituencies of Barak Valley. Both the seats were won by the Indian National Congress (Indira) or the INC (I).
Voting for the parliamentary seats in Assam and Punjab for the 8th Lok Sabha took place only in 1985. However, in the rest of the country, the polls took place in 1984.
Candidates of the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), recognised as �Independents� by the Election Commission, secured seven seats in 1985. The INC got four seats from Assam and one seat each was won by the Indian Congress (Socialist), the Plains Tribal Council of Assam and by another Independent candidate.
Election to the Lok Sabha constituencies of Assam were not held along with the rest of the country in 1989.
In election to the 10th Lok Sabha in 1991, the INC emerged victorious in eight constituencies of Assam, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won two seats. Besides, one seat each was secured by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or the CPM, the Autonomous State Demand Committee (ASDC), the AGP and an Independent candidate.
In the 1996 parliamentary polls, both the INC and the AGP got five seats each in Assam. Of the remaining four constituencies of the State, one each was won by the BJP, CPM, ASDC and an Independent.
In the General Elections to the 12th Lok Sabha held in 1998, the INC secured 10 seats in Assam, while one seat each went to the BJP, the ASDC, the United Minorities Front of Assam (UMFA) and an Independent.
The INC repeated its performance during the 1999 parliamentary polls by winning 10 seats from Assam. Of the remaining constituencies of the State, two went to the BJP and one each to the Communist Party of India (Marxist Leninist) Liberation and to an Independent.
In the 2004 Lok Sabha polls, the INC secured nine seats from Assam and two each went to the BJP and the AGP, and one to an Independent.
The INC won seven seats in the 2009 General Elections, while the BJP secured four seats. Of the remaining three constituencies, one each were won by the AGP, the Assam United Democratic Front (later renamed as the All India United Democratic Front of AIUDF) and the BPF.
In the General Elections to the 16th Lok Sabha held in 2014, the BJP emerged as the No. 1 party in Assam.