Is BJP Adopting Akela Chalo Niti in Assam for 2021 Polls?
Is the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) planning to adopt an `Akela Chalo Niti’ (Go it alone) for the 2021 assembly elections in the state? If the initial indications are anything to go by then it looks like saffron camp is treading this path.
In the Jansamwad rally (public contact rally) that was kicked off on June 16 in Assam, it was planned that two BJP workers would visit every home in every assembly segment.
Incidentally, the public contact rally was launched by BJP president Ranjit Dass from Gauhati West constituency, which is the seat of its major ally in the state, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP).
The Jansamwad rally has been designed by the central leadership of the saffron brigade as a template for campaigning in states where elections are due next year. Under this rally BJP workers will meet around 50 lakh families in each state to apprise them of the good work done by the governments of the party at Centre as well as in the state.
To start off an election campaign from the voters’ base of a partner has not been done without a reason by the state leadership. It is a political message that the party is sending out to allies in order to achieve 100+ seats in 2021 as also that it can go to any length which may well mean ditching its allies.
The planned schedule of the rally throws up some startling facts. In the 29 constituencies selected by the party to launch the rally by its state leadership, as many as 11 constituencies belong to its allies - AGP and Bodo Peoples Front (BPF).
For instance, in the Barhampur constituency represented by former chief minister Prafulla Mahanta of AGP, the BJP has planned to launch the public contact rally by one its leaders from this assembly segment. Similar is the case with Tezpur, Gauhati West, Kamalpur, Patharkuchi and Bongaigaon.
It is important to mention here that during the anti-CAA protests, Mahanta had targeted the BJP government in the state.
In similar manner, the saffron camp will launch many such contact rallies from the bases of its ally, BPF. BJP strongman Himanta Biswa Sarma was supposed to launch the campaign from Tamulpur which is now represented by a BPF MLA. Public contact programme will be also launched from the constituency of Pramila Rani Brahma in Kokrajhar; Brahma is a minister in the ruling BJP government in the state.
In fact, the relationship of BJP with BPF is not rosy as of now. The imposition of Governor’s Rule in Bodoland Territorial Areas District (BTAD) after the tenure of the council expired and the postponement of elections due to the COVID 19 pandemic have somehow soured the relationship between the political partners.
BPF has already hinted that it can walk out of the alliance any time if its demands are not given due consideration.
On the other hand, with consolidation of ties between Congress and AIUDF, which looks possible, the BPF leadership may well think otherwise.
So, with all these public rallies in its partner constituencies, it appears that the saffron camp wants to send the signal that it is ready to fight the election battle alone.