GUWAHATI, April 8 - From the time of the first Lok Sabha elections till the mid 1980s, the Congress party always succeeded in garnering over 45 per cent share of the total votes polled by the electorate of Assam. But the situation changed in the post-Assam Accord period, i.e., after 1985, and since then parliamentary elections in the State have been keenly fought among two or more contending parties.
In the first Lok Sabha elections held in 1951-52, the Indian National Congress (INC) managed to secure 45.74 per cent of the total votes cast by the electorate of Assam. The Socialist Party (SP) received 19.15 per cent of the votes polled, while Independents secured 13.74 per cent and the remaining votes went to other parties.
In the General Elections to the second Lok Sabha in 1957, the INC secured 51.68 per cent of the total votes polled, followed by the Praja Socialist Party (PSP) with 19.96 per cent and the Communist Party of India (CPI) with 10.25 per cent. The remaining 18.11 per cent of votes were cast for Independent candidates.
The INC won 45.16 per cent of the votes polled in Assam during the third General Elections held in 1962, while the PSP got 19.16 per cent, CPI secured 7.06 per cent, Independents received 20.71 per cent and the rest went to other parties.
In the 1967 Lok Sabha polls, INC again received the highest share of votes. It secured 45.84 per cent vote share, followed by Independents at 19.08 per cent, PSP with 12.80 per cent and CPI at 8.27 per cent, and other parties winning the rest of the votes.
The INC received 56.98 per cent share of the total votes polled in the parliamentary constituencies of Assam in the General Elections to the fifth Lok Sabha held in 1971. No other single party was able to cross the 10 per cent mark, with the CPI managing to secure 5.65 per cent of the votes, PSP getting 4.56 per cent, Independents winning 17.92 per cent, and the balance going to other parties.
In the post-Emergency elections of 1977, even as the INC lost heavily at the national level, in Assam the party still managed to win 50.56 per cent vote share, followed by the Janata Party candidates (contesting on the symbol of the Bharatiya Lok Dal) with 35.78 per cent. The vote share of Independent candidates was 7.64 per cent and other parties secured the remaining votes.
Voting took place only in the two Barak Valley constituencies of Assam in the 1980 Lok Sabha polls. In the two constituencies, the INC (Indira) garnered 51.01 per cent vote share, while 31.80 per cent went to the INC (Urs), 9.17 per cent to the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and 8.02 per cent to the Janata Party.
While the General Elections to the eighth Lok Sabha was held in 1984 in the rest of the country, voting for the constituencies in Assam and Punjab took place in 1985. Those elections witnessed the vote share of the INC dropping substantially for the first time in the State.
The INC�s vote share stood at 23.43 per cent, while Independents garnered as much as 56.93 per cent of the votes polled. It is noteworthy that the candidates of the then newly-formed Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) were recognised as �Independents� by the Election Commission in those polls.
The Indian Congress (Socialist) secured 6.13 per cent of the total votes polled, while the rest went to other parties.
Elections to the Lok Sabha seats of Assam were not held during the parliamentary polls of 1989.
During the 1991 parliamentary elections, of the total votes polled, in the State, the INC secured 28.49 per cent, followed by the AGP with 17.62 per cent, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with 9.60 per cent, and Independents with 14.24 per cent. Other parties received the balance of the votes cast.
In the 1996 Lok Sabha polls, INC came first by securing 31.64 per cent of the vote share, followed by AGP with 27.17 per cent, BJP with 15.92 per cent, and Independents with 11.71 per cent. Other parties garnered the remaining votes.
The 12th Lok Sabha polls of 1998 saw the INC securing 38.97 per cent of the total votes polled, while the BJP received 24.47 per cent share and the AGP got 12.72 per cent, with Independents and others polling the rest.
In the 1999 parliamentary polls, the INC�s vote share stood at 38.42 per cent, while the BJP took 29.84 per cent, the AGP got 11.92 per cent, and the remaining went to the Independents and other parties.
During the elections to the 14th Lok Sabha held in 2004, INC secured 35.07 per cent of the total votes polled, followed by BJP with 22.94 per cent, AGP with 19.95 per cent, and the remaining going to other parties and Independents.
In the parliamentary polls of 2009, INC received 34.89 per cent of the total votes polled. The BJP�s vote share was 16.21 per cent, while another 16.10 per cent went to the Assam United Democratic Front (later renamed as All India United Democratic Front or AIUDF), and 5.41 per cent to the Bodoland People�s Front (BPF), with the balance going to other parties and Independent candidates.
In elections to the 16th Lok Sabha held in 2014, of the total votes polled, BJP received the highest share of 36.86 per cent, followed by INC with 29.90 per cent, AIUDF with 14.98 per cent, AGP with 3.87 per cent, BPF with 2.21 per cent and the balance going to other parties and Independents.