Assam looks set to give Himanta Biswa Sarma a second term as Chief Minister

Assam looks set to give Himanta Biswa Sarma a second term as Chief Minister
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma during an election rally.Twitter
The magic number in the north-eastern state of Assam is 64. Bharatiya Janata Party’s Himanta Biswa Sarma, representing the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ⁠— and the state’s incumbent Chief Minister ⁠— is well past that mark, leaving behind the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) led by the Indian National Congress. As of 10:30 PM, the Election Commission showed leads and wins in 78 constituences for the NDA.

CoalitionSeats in 2016Seats in 2021 (Leads/Wins)Gain/Loss

The election in the politically volatile Assam was held in three phases between March 27 and April 6. The Citizenship Amendment Act, which became a national controversy over a year ago, is one of the biggest election issues there. However, the state looks at the Act differently than most other parts of the country.

PartyVote share in 2016Vote share in 2019Vote share in 2021
NDA41.9%36.5%Over 40%
UPA31%35.4%Over 38%
Others13%7.8%About 20%

The history of resistance to ‘outsiders’ (irrespective of their religion) by the people who consider themselves as native Assamese is decades long.

So BJP’s detractors in rest of India got angry with the party for trying to discriminate against Muslims, the people of Assam got angry with the party for trying to accommodate Hindus. The issue is a lot more ethnic and a lot less religious in Assam.


While the exit polls are giving the NDA the lead, Chief Minister Sarma fought the election aggressively. Sometimes, even at the expense of ignoring a pandemic that was taking lives. With his refusal to wear a mask made an abominable offence of setting the wrong example for millions of his supporters.

Today’s result show whether the Congress⁠ — with its alliance of ten parties including All India United Democratic Front (AIDUF) and the Bodoland People's Front (BDF) ⁠— was able to convert these setbacks into votes and seats. However, it wasn't good enough to cross the halfway mark..

There was a third contender called United Regional Front, where parties like Lurinjyoti Gogoi's Assam Jatiya Parishad and Akhil Gogoi's Raijor Dal have come together, were looking to chip away votes from the two leading coalitions. But the BJP and Sarma have held their sway in the North Eastern state one more time.

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