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Wednesday, Oct 27, 2021
Outlook.com

Two In The Muddle

Anti-CAA sentiment fails to dislodge the BJP from Dispur, while a stronger opposition in the assembly promises fireworks.

Two In The Muddle
Illustration by Saahil
Two In The Muddle
outlookindia.com
2021-05-15T08:47:50+05:30

“Who is Badruddin Ajmal?” That was former chief minister Tarun Gogoi’s bristling question when the perfume baron formed the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) ahead of the 2006 assembly elections in Assam. It came after Gogoi had reportedly turned down the Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind’s offer for help in return for a promise in writing that he would work for the welfare of Muslims. The AIUDF responded by winning 10 seats. The Congress, though, went on to form the second of the three successive governments it would eventually head. Focused as they were on the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), neither the Congress nor the AIUDF had, at that point, reckoned with the possible emergence of the BJP as a force to contend with in Assam. By the time they did, following the arrival of the party at the Centre under Narendra Modi as prime minister, it was a bit too late, and the BJP stormed to power in Assam, decimating the Congress in 2016 and also singeing the AIUDF.

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The BJP did a repeat this time—ironically, despite the Congress and the AIUDF finally joining hands at the behest of none other than Gogoi, who had kept the Badruddin outfit away all along, just months before he succumbed to Covid. Together, the Congress and the AIUDF did better than they had done separately in 2016, but not enough to shut the door on the BJP. The saffron party, though, could not improve on its last count. In fact, the alliance led by the party and comprising the AGP and the nascent United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL), which replaced the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF), fell short by 11 seats from the 86 it had bagged in 2016, and yet managed to sail through comfortably against the opposition...

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