Assam Legislative Assembly election, 2016

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Assam Legislative Assembly election, 2016

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All 126 seats in the Legislature of Assam
64 seats needed for a majority
Turnout 84.72%

  Majority party Minority party Third party
  Chief Minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal.jpg Tarun Gogoi - Kolkata 2013-02-10 4891 Cropped.JPG M-badruddin-ajmal.JPG
Leader Sarbananda Sonowal Tarun Gogoi Badruddin Ajmal
Party BJP INC AIUDF
Alliance NDA UPA Grand Alliance
Leader since 2011 1976 2005
Leader's seat Majuli Titabar Salmara South
(lost)
Last election 26 78 18
Seats before 27 79 18
Seats won 86 26 13
Seat change Increase 60 Decrease 53 Decrease 5
Popular vote 7,035,724
(BJP+AGP+BPF)
5,238,655
(INC only)
2,207,945
(AIUDF only)
Percentage 41.9 31.0 13.0

Chief Minister before election

Tarun Gogoi
INC

Elected Chief Minister

Sarbananda Sonowal
BJP

The Assam Legislative Assembly Election of 2016 was held in two phases, on 4 and 11 April 2016, to elect members of the 126 constituencies in Assam, a state in North-eastern India.[1] The overall voter turnout was 84.72%, which set a new record for Assam.[2][3] The turnout was an increase from the 2011 Assembly election figure of 75%.[4]

The counting of votes and results declaration was completed on 19 May 2016. The election brought a change of power as the Indian National Congress (INC), which had formed the government under Tarun Gogoi since 2001, lost its majority to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP, lit "Indian People's Party") led by Sarbananda Sonowal.

Background[edit]

The prior Assam assembly ended on June 5, 2016.[5] The full bench of the Election Commission headed by Syed Nasim Ahmad Zaidi visited Assam on 21 December 2015.[6] Voter-verified paper audit trails were introduced in 10 constituencies (approximately 2400 polling booths) in Assam assembly polls.[7] These included the four assembly constituencies in Kamrup Metro district: Dispur, Jalukbari, Gauhati East and Gauhati West.[8] 250 polling stations were made model polling stations.[9]

Electoral process[edit]

An update to the National Register of Citizens of India (NRC) was to be completed by 1 January 2016, monitored by the Supreme Court of India.[10][11] By September 2015, the first phase was completed; over 66.90 lakh (6,690,000) households submitted forms linking themselves to either the NRC of 1951 or any of the electoral rolls prior to 24 March 1971. It was to be followed by verifying the applications.

The effort was intended to detect and deport the illegal migrants who came from neighbouring Bangladesh on or after March 25, 1971.[12] Since 1985, Foreigners' Tribunals have declared over 38,000 persons in Assam as illegal migrants. Nearly 1.5 lakh (150,000) names in Assam's electoral rolls carry the prefix "D" for "Doubtful" citizenship status.[13] The Supreme Court directed the Assam Government to complete the final NRC by March 1, 2016.[14][15] In May 2015, the historic India–Bangladesh land swap deal was signed, exchanging long-standing territorial enclaves and simplifying the border.[16]

According to the draft electoral rolls published in October 2015, the total number of voters in Assam stand at 1.92 crore (19.2 million). The Election Commission said that final electoral rolls would be published by 11 January 2016.

Religion data[edit]

According to the 2011 census, 61.5% were Hindus, 34.22% were Muslims.[17][18] Christian minorities (3.7%) are mostly among some of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (SC/ST) population.[19] The Scheduled Tribe population (both ST(Plains) and ST(Hills) combined) in Assam is around 13% of which the Bodo people(an indigenous Assamese community) account for 40% and the Scheduled Caste population is about 7.4% of which the Kaibarta and Jal Keot(both indigenous Assamese communities) combined account for about 36%.[20]

Out of 32 districts of Assam, 11 are Muslim majority according to the 2011 census.[21] The districts are Dhubri, Goalpara, Barpeta, Morigaon, Nagaon, Hojai, Karimganj, South Salmara–Mankachar, Hailakandi, Darrang and Bongaigaon.[22][23][24] Bodos have a population share of 12% and the Kaibarta and Jal Keot have a total share of about 10% (all of which are a part of the indigenous Assamese community).[25] The share of the indigenous Assamese communities in Assam was about 47% in the 2001 census which has reduced to about 40-45% in 2016 as predicted by experts. Indigenous Assamese Muslims, also known as Khilonjia Muslims, include ethnic groups such as Goria and Moria, and are estimated to be around 40 lakhs in population out of a total 1 crore (4 million out of 10 million) Muslims in Assam.[26]

Campaign[edit]

In November 2015, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah held a party workers' rally in Dibrugarh in Upper Assam Division.[27] Union Minister and Lakhimpur MP Sarbananda Sonowal was made Assam BJP chief to head their election committee.[28] Sonowal found the situation of illegal immigration from Bangladesh "very alarming".[29] (Sonowal had led an effort to have the controversial Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunal) (IMDT) Act struck down by the Supreme court of India in December 2006, making deportations easier.)[30] Himanta Biswa Sarma, a state Congress heavyweight joined BJP.[31] BJP has aimed for 'Mission 84' in Assam.[32][33] BJP led in 69 assembly constituencies in the Lok Sabha elections 2014 by winning 7 Lok Sabha seats in Assam.[34] For the first time, the BJP had contested the Bodoland Territorial Council elections, and won a seat.[35]

In December 2015, Indian National Congress (INC) Vice-President Rahul Gandhi visited Assam where he accused Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS, lit "National Volunteer Organisation") workers of not letting him enter Barpeta Satra temple in Barpeta district.[36] RSS, a right-wing Hindu-nationalist paramilitary group widely regarded as the parent organisation of BJP, denied the charge. Gandhi announced that Tarun Gogoi would be the chief minister candidate of INC.[37] Demand was growing for giving scheduled tribe (ST) status to six communities – Tai Ahoms, Koch Rajbongshis, Moran, Motok, Sootea and 36 tea tribes (the descendants of tea garden workers settled by British in the state from Chotanagpur plateau in the mid-19th century).[38][39]

In November 2015, nine members of the legislative assembly left the INC and joined BJP.[40] Assam Governor PB Acharya made a controversial statement that Hindustan is only for Hindus.[41] Ex-United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) rebels announced that they would contest Assam polls.[42] On 26 December 2015, BJP's Assam unit launched its 'Assam Nirman' initiative, seeking public opinion to prepare a vision document for development in Assam.[43]

On 28 December 2015, Smriti Irani visited Barak Valley in Assam and accused the Tarun Gogoi government of not doing enough for women's safety.[44][45] Gogoi accused the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government of stalling tactics on granting citizenship to refugees from Bangladesh, claiming that they had been persecuted there.[46] Gogoi said external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj met with businessmen in Assam during her visit instead of talking about the problems and issues confronting the state.[47]

In January 2016, the Gogoi government announced rice prices at Rs 2 per kilogramme and to build all-religion bhawans.[48][49] The Assam INC President ruled-out any alliance with All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) or Asom Gana Parishad (AGP, lit "Assam Peoples Association") parties.[50][51] Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh visited Assam on 3 January 2016 and said the fencing along the Indo-Bangladesh border would be completed by December 2016.[52][53] A delegation of the All Assam Students Union (AASU) met Singh and visited the border areas. Rajnath Singh visited Dhubri district and expressed dissatisfaction with the fencing work there. He said that a feasibility study and two pilot projects were underway in the Dhubri sector of the riverine border.[54] Gogoi said that 97.32% of the border fencing work in Karimganj and Dhubri was complete and asked the Central Government to take up a pilot project involving technological solutions to plug the riverine border.[55][56]

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a rally in Kokrajhar on 19 January 2016, after his visit to Sikkim on 18 January 2016.[57] Modi formally announced the alliance of Bodoland People's Front (BPF) with BJP in Assam.[58]

On 28 January, the BJP Parliamentary Board announced Sarbananda Sonowal as their Chief Ministerial candidate of Assam.[59] Union minister of state for commerce and industry Nirmala Sitharaman accused Gogoi of spreading misinformation on the suspension of the North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy (NEIIPP), 2007.[60] Ethnic groups of Assam sought ULFA pro-talks faction headed by founding general secretary Anup Chetia to help them receive ST designation.[61][62]

Modi arrived on 5 February to first attend the 85th conference of the Srimanta Sankaradeva Sangha at the erstwhile Ahom capital of Sivasagar. Then he addressed a rally at Moran.[63][64][65] Modi dedicated the Assam gas cracker project at Dibrugarh[66] and inaugurated the 2016 South Asian Games in Guwahati on 5 February.[67]

On 2 March, the BJP announced its alliance with AGP.[68] AGP was given 24 seats.[69] Gogoi announced a special package of Rs 3,000 cr (Rs 30 billion) for Barak Valley.[70] Gandhi visited Assam for two days, 4–5 March 2016, and addressed public meetings in Silchar and Nagaon.[71] On 6 March 2016, INC allied with Bodo-heartland-based United People's Party in a strategy to counter BJP's alliance with BPF.[72]

On 10 March, BJP declared candidates for the first phase of Assam elections.[73] Out of 126 Assembly constituencies, BJP contested 84 constituencies and left 42 to its four National Democratic Alliance (NDA) allies: AGP (24), BPF (16), Rabha Jatiya Aikya Manch (1) and Tiwa Jatiya Aikya Manch (1). BJP gave tickets to two ex-millitants including Bhaskar Sarma (who was accused of secret killings). On 16 March 2016, Sarbananda Sonowal filed his nomination for the Majuli (ST) assembly seat.[74][75] Modi addressed a rally in Majuli on 23 March 2016.[76] INC released its first list of 65 candidates on March 15, 2016;[77] the second list of 57 candidates was announced on March 21, 2016.[78][79] INC contested 122 seats while its ally United People's Party contested the remaining 4 seats.[80] BJP's Himanta Biswa Sarma filed nomination papers from Jalukbari on 21 March 2016.[81] AIUDF contested around 76 seats while its allies in Assam – Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Janata Dal (United) (JD[U]) – contest 12 seats each.[82] AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal ran for South Salmara seat, while Gogoi ran for the Titabar seat against BJP MP Kamakhya Prasad Tasa.[83][84]

On 12 February 2016, the Election Commission of India announced that 10 assembly constituencies in Assam will have 2300 voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines attached along with electronic voting machines (EVMs).[85]

Schedule[edit]

The dates of the election were announced on 4 March 2016. (In previous elections, all 140 constituencies went to polls on the same day.)[86]

The polling was held in two phases, on 4 and 11 April 2016. The counting was scheduled on 19 May 2016 for both phases.[87]

Schedule of polling and results[87]
Phase 1 4 April 2016
Phase 2 11 April 2016
Counting of votes and result 19 May 2016
Assembly constituencies of Assam having VVPAT facility with EVMs[87]
Silchar Dhubri Bongaigaon
Goalpara East Jalukbari Dispur
Gauhati East Guahati West Tezpur
Jorhat

Opinion polls[edit]

When conducted Ref Polling organisation/Agency Sample size
INC BJP+ AIUDF Other
April 2016 [88] India TV-C Voter NA 53
55
12
6
March 2016 [89] Nielsen NA 36
78
10
2
March 2016 [90] AVC NA 40
48-54
25
0
January 2016 [91][92][93] India TV-C-Voter NA 44
57
19
6

Exit polls[edit]

Agency INC+ BJP+ AIUDF Others Ref.[94]
News Nation 47-51 63-67 7-11 NA [95]
C Voter 41 57 18 10 [96]
Chanakya 27 90 9 NA [96]
ABP Nielsen 33 81 10 2 [96]
NDTV Poll of Polls 37 73 12 4 [96]

Voting[edit]

Voter turnout was 84.72%.[97] 87.03% polling was recorded in the second phase, the highest in Assam's history.[98][99] One person was killed by police in Assam.[100] 189 EVMs were replaced in the final phase due to technical issues.[101] A total of 1,064 candidates contested the elections – 122 from INC, 89 from BJP, 74 from AIUDF, 30 from AGP, 13 from the BPF, 15 from CPI, 19 from CPM, 205 others and 497 Independents. The total number of polling stations in Assam was 24,890, spread across 50 election districts.

Result[edit]

Flag Party Alliance Contested Won +/- Votes %
  30px Bharatiya Janata Party NDA 89 60 Increase55 4,992,185 29.5
  Flag of Asom Gana Parishad.svg Asom Gana Parishad NDA 30 14 Increase5 1,377,482 8.1
  BPF-Flag.svg Bodoland People's Front NDA 13 12 Steady 666,057 3.9
Rabha Jatiya Aikya Manch NDA 1 0 Steady
Tiwa Jatiya Aikya Manch NDA 1 0 Steady
  Flag of the Indian National Congress.svg Indian National Congress UPA 122 26 Decrease53 5,238,655 31.0
United People's Party UPA 4 0 Steady
  AIUDF-flag.svg All India United Democratic Front G.A 74 13 Decrease5 2,207,945 13.0
  RJD Flag.svg Rashtriya Janata Dal G.A 12 0 Steady
  Janata Dal (United) Flag.jpg Janata Dal (United) G.A 12 0 Steady
  Cpim party symbol.svg Communist Party of India (Marxist) Left 19 0 Steady 93,508 0.6
  CPI-banner.svg Communist Party of India Left 15 0 Steady 37,243 0.2
  Independents 1 Decrease2 1,867,532 11.0
Total 126

Victorious candidates[edit]

Sl No Constituency
Name
Constituency
Number
Member of Legislative Assembly Political Party
1 Abhayapuri North 34 Abdul Hai Nagori Indian National Congress
2 Abhayapuri South 35 Ananta Kumar Malo All India United Democratic Front
3 Algapur 8 Nizam Uddin Choudhury All India United Democratic Front
4 Amguri 103 Prodip Hazarika Asom Gana Parishad
5 Badarpur 5 Jamal Uddin Ahmed Indian National Congress
6 Baghbor 45 Sherman Ali Ahmed Indian National Congress
7 Baithalangso 20 Mansing Rongpi Indian National Congress
8 Barama 62 Maneswar Brahma Bodoland People's Front
9 Barchalla 72 Ganesh Kumar Limbu Bharatiya Janata Party
10 Barhampur 87 Prafulla Kumar Mahanta Asom Gana Parishad
11 Barkhetry 60 Narayan Deka Bharatiya Janata Party
12 Barkhola 14 Kishor Nath Bharatiya Janata Party
13 Barpeta 43 Gunindra Nath Das Asom Gana Parishad
14 Batadroba 84 Angoorlata Deka Bharatiya Janata Party
15 Behali 77 Ranjit Dutta Bharatiya Janata Party
16 Bhabanipur 41 Abul Kalam Azad All India United Democratic Front
17 Bihpuria 109 Debananda Hazarika Bharatiya Janata Party
18 Bijni 33 Kamal Singh Narzary Bodoland People's Front
19 Bilasipara East 27 Ashok Kumar Singhi Bharatiya Janata Party
20 Bilasipara West 26 Hafiz Bashir Ahmed All India United Democratic Front
21 Biswanath 76 Promod Borthakur Bharatiya Janata Party
22 Bokajan 17 Numal Momin Bharatiya Janata Party
23 Bokakhat 93 Atul Bora Asom Gana Parishad
24 Boko SC 48 Nandita Das Indian National Congress
25 Bongaigaon 32 Phani Bhusan Choudhury Asom Gana Parishad
26 Chabua 121 Binod Hazarika Bharatiya Janata Party
27 Chapaguri 63 Thaneswar Basumatary Bodoland People's Front
28 Chaygaon 49 Rekibuddin Ahmed Indian National Congress
29 Chenga 47 Sukur Ali Ahmed Indian National Congress
30 Dalgaon 68 Ilias Ali Indian National Congress
31 Dergaon 97 Bhabendra Nath Bharali Asom Gana Parishad
32 Dhakuakhana 112 Naba Kumar Doley Bharatiya Janata Party
33 Dharmapur 61 Chandra Mohan Patowary Bharatiya Janata Party
34 Dhekiajuli 71 Ashok Singhal Bharatiya Janata Party
35 Dhemaji 113 Dr Ranuj Pegu Bharatiya Janata Party
36 Dhing 83 Aminul Islam All India United Democratic Front
37 Dholai 11 Parimal Suklabaidya Bharatiya Janata Party
38 Dhubri 23 Najrul Hoque All India United Democratic Front
39 Dibrugarh 116 Prasanta Phukan Bharatiya Janata Party
40 Digboi 123 Suren Phukan Bharatiya Janata Party
41 Diphu 19 Sum Ronghang Bharatiya Janata Party
42 Dispur 52 Atul Bora Bharatiya Janata Party
43 Doom dooma 125 Durga Bhumij Indian National Congress
44 Dudhnai 36 Dipak Rabha Bharatiya Janata Party
45 Duliajan 118 Terash Gowalla Bharatiya Janata Party
46 Gauhati East 53 Siddhartha Bhattacharya Bharatiya Janata Party
47 Gauhati West 54 Ramendra Narayan Kalita Asom Gana Parishad
48 Gauripur 24 Nijanur Rahman All India United Democratic Front
49 Goalpara East 37 Abdul Kalam Rasheed Alam Indian National Congress
50 Goalpara West 38 Abdur Rasheed Mandal Indian National Congress
51 Gohpur 78 Utpal Borah Bharatiya Janata Party
52 Golaghat 95 Ajanta Neog Indian National Congress
53 Golakganj 25 Ashwini Roy Sarkar Bharatiya Janata Party
54 Gossaigaon 28 Majendra Narzary Bodoland People's Front
55 Haflong 16 Bir Bhadra Hagjer Bharatiya Janata Party
56 Hailakandi 6 Anwar Hussain Laskar All India United Democratic Front
57 Hajo 55 Suman Haripriya Bharatiya Janata Party
58 Hojai 91 Shiladitya Dev Bharatiya Janata Party
59 Howraghat 18 Joyram Engleng Bharatiya Janata Party
60 Jagiroad 79 Pijush Hazarika Bharatiya Janata Party
61 Jaleswar 39 Sahab Uddin Ahmed All India United Democratic Front
62 Jalukbari 51 Himanta Biswa Sarma Bharatiya Janata Party
63 Jamunamukh 90 Abdur Rahim Ajmal All India United Democratic Front
64 Jania 44 Abdul Khaleque Indian National Congress
65 Jonai 114 Bhubon Pegu Independent
66 Jorhat 98 Hitendra Nath Goswami Bharatiya Janata Party
67 Kalaigaon 65 Maheswar Baro Bodoland People's Front
68 Kaliabor 89 Keshab Mahanta Asom Gana Parishad
69 Kamalpur 56 Satyabrat Kalita Asom Gana Parishad
70 Karimganj North 3 Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha Indian National Congress
71 Karimganj South 4 Aziz Ahmed Khan All India United Democratic Front
72 Katigorah 15 Amar Chand Jain Bharatiya Janata Party
73 Katlicherra 7 Suzam Uddin Laskar All India United Democratic Front
74 Khumtai 96 Mrinal Saikia Bharatiya Janata Party
75 Kokrajhar East 30 Pramila Rani Brahma Bodoland Peoples Front
76 Kokrajhar West 29 Rabiram Narzary Bodoland People's Front
77 Laharighat 81 Dr. Nazrul Islam Indian National Congress
78 Lahowal 117 Rituparna Baruah Bharatiya Janata Party
79 Lakhimpur 111 Utpal Dutta Asom Gana Parishad
80 Lakhipur 13 Rajdeep Goala Indian National Congress
81 Lumding 92 Sibu Misra Bharatiya Janata Party
82 Mahmara 105 Jogen Mohan Bharatiya Janata Party
83 Majbat 70 Charan Boro Bodoland People's Front
84 Majuli 99 Sarbananda Sonowal Bharatiya Janata Party
85 Mangaldoi 67 Gurujyoti Das Bharatiya Janata Party
86 Mankachar 21 Motiur Rohman Mondal Indian National Congress
87 Margherita 124 Bhaskar Sharma Bharatiya Janata Party
88 Mariani 101 Rupjyoti Kurmi Indian National Congress
89 Marigaon 80 Rama Kanta Dewri Bharatiya Janata Party
90 Moran 115 Chakradhar Gogoi Bharatiya Janata Party
91 Naharkatia 120 Naren Sonowal Asom Gana Parishad
92 Nalbari 59 Ashok Sarma Bharatiya Janata Party
93 Naoboicha 110 Mamun Imdadul Haque Chawdhury All India United Democratic Front
94 Nazira 104 Debabrata Saikia Indian National Congress
95 Nowgong 86 Rupak Sarmah Bharatiya Janata Party
96 Palasbari 50 Pranab Kalita Bharatiya Janata Party
97 Panery 64 Kamali Basumatari Bodoland People's Front
98 Patacharkuchi 42 Pabindra Deka Asom Gana Parishad
99 Patharkandi 2 Krishnendu Paul Bharatiya Janata Party
100 Raha 82 Dimbeswar Das Bharatiya Janata Party
101 Rangapara 74 Pallab Lochan Das Bharatiya Janata Party
102 Rangia 57 Bhabesh Kalita Bharatiya Janata Party
103 Ratabari 1 Kripanath Mallah Bharatiya Janata Party
104 Rupohihat 85 Nurul Huda Indian National Congress
105 Sadiya 126 Bolin Chetia Bharatiya Janata Party
106 Salmara South 22 Wazed Ali Choudhury Indian National Congress
107 Samaguri 88 Rakibul Hussain Indian National Congress
108 Sarukhetri 46 Jakir Hussain Sikdar Indian National Congress
109 Sarupathar 94 Roselina Tirkey Indian National Congress
110 Sibsagar 108 Pranab Kumar Gogoi Indian National Congress
111 Sidli 31 Sri Chandan Brahma Bodoland People's Front
112 Silchar 9 Dilip Kumar Paul Bharatiya Janata Party
113 Sipajhar 66 Binanda Kumar Saikia Bharatiya Janata Party
114 Sonai 10 Aminul Haque Laskar Bharatiya Janata Party
115 Sonari 106 Topon Kumar Gogoi Bharatiya Janata Party
116 Sootea 75 Padma Hazarika Bharatiya Janata Party
117 Sorbhog 40 Ranjit Kumar Das Bharatiya Janata Party
118 Tamulpur 58 Emmanuel Mosahary Bodoland People's Front
119 Teok 102 Renupoma Rajkhowa Asom Gana Parishad
120 Tezpur 73 Brindaban Goswami Asom Gana Parishad
121 Thowra 107 Kushal Dowari Bharatiya Janata Party
122 Tingkhong 119 Bimal Bora Bharatiya Janata Party
123 Tinsukia 122 Sanjoy Kishan Bharatiya Janata Party
124 Titabar 100 Tarun Gogoi Indian National Congress
125 Udalguri 69 Rihon Daimary Bodoland People's Front
126 Udharbond 12 Mihir Kanti Shome Bharatiya Janata Party

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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