GUWAHATI, April 23 - With polling for the Lok Sabha constituencies of Assam having concluded today, political parties across the spectrum sounded positive regarding the outcome and exuded confidence about having secured the support of the State�s electorate.
While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) said that it expects to win from more than 10 out of the total 14 constituencies of Assam, principal opposition party Congress is confident of emerging victorious in eight to ten seats.
The All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) also expressed hope of doing well in the limited number of seats where it has fielded candidates.
�Based on the feedback we have received from various places, I can say that the tally of our alliance will not be less than ten seats. It could exceed ten,� State BJP president Ranjeet Kumar Dass told The Assam Tribune.
Asked what kind of results the BJP expects on its own, Dass said, �At this moment it is difficult to predict that. Details from the booth level are yet to come in. It will take another day or two for things to become clear. But I can say confidently that the NDA tally overall will not fall below ten. Rather, it could be more. It could be ten plus.�
He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP�s strong organisational base are the factors behind the good show by the ruling alliance. �There are only two factors behind our success � Narendra Modi and our party organisation. Voters have appreciated the development agenda and the thrust put on security by the government headed by Prime Minister Modi. Secondly, our organisational base in Assam is very strong and we have dedicated cadres at every level,� Dass said.
As per the seat-sharing arrangement among partners of the ruling NDA, the BJP contested from ten constituencies of Assam in the elections, while the Kaliabor, Dhubri and Barpeta seats were allocated to the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and the Kokrajhar seat to the Bodoland People�s Front (BPF).
�Our performance this time will be much better as compared to the last Lok Sabha polls. The kind of response which we have got from the electorate of Assam gives us reasons to believe that we will do very well this time,� former chief minister and senior Congress party leader Tarun Gogoi told this newspaper.
Accusing the NDA regime of �all-round� failure, Gogoi said people have been attracted to the promises made by the Congress party, including on Minimum Income Guarantee, recruitment in government departments and revival of the economy.
�We will win a minimum of at least eight seats in Assam and the figure could go up to ten. Media reports in recent days have shown that barring one or two seats, the Congress is in direct contest with either the BJP or the AGP or the AIUDF in all other constituencies,� he said.
Gogoi alleged that the Modi government failed to address basic issues affecting citizens. �There is an economic downturn under Modi. There is rampant price rise and high rate of unemployment. Besides, Congress took a firm stand on the issue of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB),� said the three-time chief minister.
The Congress fielded candidates from all the 14 constituencies of Assam.
The AIUDF claimed that the electorate have voted against the BJP. �We are absolutely confident of winning from all the three constituencies where we fielded candidates. Besides, our alliance partner United People�s Party Liberal (UPPL) will win the Kokrajhar seat. People of Assam have voted against BJP�s communal agenda. People have voted in favour of secularism and against any attempt to destroy the language, culture and heritage of Assam which the BJP intends to do by reintroducing the CAB. Our strategy to ensure defeat of the BJP has been successful,� said Aminul Islam, general secretary of AIUDF.
He claimed that a large segment of Bengali Hindu voters have exercised their franchise in favour of the AIUDF in Dhubri, Barpeta and Karimganj. �The Bengali Hindu voters have appreciated our stand on the NRC, D-voters and detention camps,� said Islam.
AIUDF fielded candidates from only three constituencies while extending support to the UPPL in Kokrajhar. Meanwhile, junior NDA constituent AGP claimed that people of Assam have voted to re-elect Narendra Modi as Prime Minister for another term.
�There was a tough contest in all the three seats where we fielded our own candidates. As per the feedback we have received so far, the possibility is bright of our party winning from at least two of the constituencies,� said AGP general secretary Ramendra Narayan Kalita.
Asked if the CAB issue is likely to have made an impact on the elections, he said, �The situation is not yet clear. But we believe that people came out in such huge numbers to vote because they want Modi to return as Prime Minister. The kind of response which the candidates of the ruling alliance received was very encouraging.�
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP, contesting on its own, had won from seven seats in Assam. The Congress and the AIUDF had both emerged victorious from three seats each, while one seat had gone to an independent candidate.