BJP led alliance is all set to form Government after decimating ruling Congress in Assam. The victory is being seen as a big morale booster for Saffron party after Modi-led party was routed in series of recent elections including Bihar and Delhi State polls.
One can gauge the success of the BJP with the fact that BJP will soon to form first ever Government in North-East after dislodging Congress which ruled state for 15 long years.
Though many factors helped BJP to wrest power in Assam, most important amongst them is BJP's last minute effort to nominate Sarbanand Sonowal as Chief Ministerial candidate. Charismatic Tribal leader Sonowal turned the table in BJP's favour.
Here are the five factors which worked for BJP plus alliance in Assam.
"Rainbow" alliance helped party
Keeping many existing social groups in mind, BJP stiched alliance with regional parties including Assam Gan Parishad (AGP), Bodo People Front (BPF) and other tribal groups.
Assam is dominated by many tribes and communities including Kachari , Moran, Muttock, Tai Ahom, Koch Rajbongshi, Sootea and the Tea tribes. Party roped in leaders of these communties including Sonowal and tea tribe leader Kamakhya Tassa so that people could associate themselves with Saffron party.
Reported suggests that BPF which is representative organisation of the Bodo community helped BJP to wrests at least 20 seats.
CM candidate Sarbanand Sonowal
A low-profile man, Sarbanand Sonowal who is now all set to be Assam's second tribal chief minister after legendary Jogen Hazarika in the 1970s proved perfect man for BJP who buyoed party to power.
The 53-year-old former president of influential All-Assam Students Union, who hails from the Kachari tribe, brings in a unique synthesis of tribal leadership and Hindutva politics in governance-starved Assam.
It is being said that Sonowal's presence actually helped BJP which portrayed itself as a pro-tribal outfit for the first time.
With his staunch opposition to the illegal migrants from Bangaldesh, Sonowal gave legitimacy to the Hindutva politics of a 'north Indian party' among the tribals in the northeast. He convinced many tribes to vote for BJP.
Guwahati-based political analyst Ratnadeep Gupta was quoted as saying, "BJP was always an accepted political force for upper caste Hindu Assamese, but Sonowal and few others like tea tribe leader Kamakhya Tassa gave BJP new footholds. The election results in Assam today exemplify that paradigm shift and hopefully its a new beginning under Sonowal".
Local leadership was given full authority
Unlike previous occassions, BJP this time focussed on local leadership of Sarbanand Sonowal and Himanta Biswa Sarma, who was Gogoi's once most trusted lieutenant . Prime minister narendra Modi and party president only did few rallies in the state. Party's planning to give local leaders full authority really worked for the party.
No personal attack this time
BJP didn't repeat previous personal attacks which took toll on party in Bihar Assembly election. One can remember Amit Shah's statement during Bihar poll saying that if BJP will be defeated then there will be Diwali in Pakistan. But this time Prime Minister and Amit Shah didn't repeat their previous mistakes. Party raised issues without holding incumbent chief Minister tarun gagoi responsible for them.
Decision of taking Cong's veteran Himanta Biswa Sarma in the party also worked for Saffron alliance
It looks like BJP strategised well to trounce Congress in Assam. Party played masterstroke by poaching Himanta Biswa Sarma,Tarun Gogoi's ex-confidante and former health and education minister to the party. BJP believed that as Sarma felt suffocated in Congress, he would definitely help saffron alliance to secure anti-Congress vote for the party.
Sarma who worked for Congress for 23 years left party after Tarun Gagoi launched his son Gaurav in politics. Sarma's long experience on political pitch helped BJP to trounce Congress on many seats.