Assam Elections- Contest in between 2 Alliances

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PM Modi addressing the rally in Assam urged the people to vote in large numbers in the final phase and reject the ‘Mahajot’s ‘mahajhoot’ and ensure the victory of the NDA government in the state. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today in a rally that Assam has decided to go for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government as they are against violence, for development, peace, unity and stability. The people have rejected parties attacking the identity of Assam for decades, PM Modi also said in a veiled attack on the opposition while addressing a public meeting in Tamulpur ahead of the northeastern state’s final phase of polling scheduled to take place on April 6.

Slamming the previous government, PM Modi said the tools of communalism and secularism is used by the opposition to hinder the development of government schemes, adding “we work for the people, we work with honesty. Everybody got pakka houses, everyone got toilets, everyone got gas connection without any bias. Our principle is to provide everything to everyone.” “For the first time, a government is working on 100 districts that had been left behind in the race of development under the ‘Aspirational Districts’ programme. These districts are now aspiring for development and seven of Assam’s districts are under this programme,” the Prime Minister said.

However, after barring Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma from campaigning in the assembly elections for 48 hours, the Election Commission has also transferred his brother and Goalpara Superintendent of Police Sushanta Biswa Sarma from the district. An order issued by the Commission on 2nd April, said that Sushanta Biswa Sarma shall be transferred to some suitable post in the state headquarters and IPS officer Veera Venakata Rakesh Reddy shall be posted with immediate effect as the new Superintendent of Police of Goalpara district, which will go to polls in the third and last phase on April 6.

The order, signed by the Election Commission Under Secretary Luv Kush Yadav, also stated that the compliance report shall be furnished to the Commission immediately.The Election Commission on Friday barred the senior Assam minister from campaigning for 48 hours for allegedly making threatening remarks against Bodoland People’s Front Chief Hagrama Mohilary.

Also, four officials of the Election Commission have been suspended and re-polling has been ordered at a polling station after an Electronic Voting Machine was found inside Bharatiya Janata Party’s Patharkandi candidate Krishnendu Paul’s car hours after polling concluded for the second phase in Assam. The incident triggered a major row, even resulting in violence in the area. It all began after a video surfaced on a social media platform allegedly showing an EVM in Paul’s car. The car was attacked and vandalised, as seen in the video, and the situation remained tense in the area after the incident.

In a statement issued, the Election Commission said that the Presiding Officer has been issued a show-cause notice for violation of transport protocol. “The PO & 3 other officials have been placed under suspension. Although EVM’s seals were found intact it has been decided to do a re-poll at No 149- Indira MV School of LAC 1 Ratabari(SC) as added precaution. A report has also been sought from the Special Observer,” it said.

Opposition leaders, including senior Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra who has been campaigning in Assam and Member of Parliament Gaurav Gogoi, targeted the BJP over the incident. In a tweet, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra asked the Election Commission to act decisively in the matter and said that a “serious re-evaluation” of EVM use needs to be carried out by all national parties.

Baijayant Panda said that whenever Congress sees defeat staring at it in its face they start making these kinds of allegations and blow it out of proportion.

The contest is between two alliances, the BJP-led alliance and the Congress-led alliance or ‘Mahajot’, which has the AIUDF, Bodoland People’s Front, the Anchalik Gana Morcha, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the CPI and the CPI-ML. It’s clearly emerging as a battle of two strategies. The BJP, which has been in power for the last 5 years is depending on its successful and popular welfare schemes, and the anti-Bengali Muslim narrative versus the ‘Mahajot’ that is banking its hopes on anti-CAA sentiments and strategic political tie-ups.

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