Election Battleground Assam: Geo-Political Analysis

The upcoming assembly election in Assam, the most populous north-eastern state of India, has great significance in national context. Entire country is looking up to the election in this state with extreme ethnic and lingual diversities.

2016 assembly election of Assam is going to witness a multi corner contest. However, the main battle will be between two major national political parties of India, BJP and Congress. Under the leadership of Tarun gogoi, Congress is ruling the state since 2001 and is looking for fourth consecutive term. On the other hand, BJP would like to repeat its spectacular performance of 2014 lok sabha election. In this election, the party had won 7 out of 14 seats with 36.9 percent overall vote share. Congress, with 29.6 percent overall votes could manage to win only 3 seats.

However, things were totally different in 2011 assembly elections. Although the state had witnessed a record 75.9 percent voting, BJP could garner only 11.47 percent votes and 5 seats out of total 126. Congress, on the other hand had won 78 seats with 39.4 percent vote share. Regional parties also played important roles. Asom Gana Parishad had won 10 seats with 16.29 percent vote share and AIUDF 18 seats with 12.57 percent vote share.

Assam is generally divided into five divisions: Barak valley, Central Assam, Northern Assam, Upper Assam and Lower Assam.

assam administrative

Congress had dominated all these areas in 2011 assembly elections. Division wise performance of different political parties (vote%) in the state in 2011 assembly election is shown in the following table:

PARTY Barak Valley Central Assam Lower Assam North Assam Upper Assam
AGP 5.83 13.68 16.95 16.31 21.64
AIUDF 15.15 19.56 17.16 9.99 1.17
BJP 20.09 9.21 8.61 8.63 14.81
INC 46.81 44.34 29.69 37.87 48.42

Table: Vote share (%) of major political parties in 2011 assembly electionsSource: Datamineria Technology (based on ECI data)


In 2014 lok sabha elections, BJP took important lead in almost all these divisions. The party’s vote share increased from 11.47 to 36.9 percent in the entire state. In Barak Valley, Central Assam and Northern Assam, the party was neck to neck with congress. However, it took decisive lead over Congress in Upper Assam and Lower Assam. The gain of BJP was mainly at the cost of AGP whose overall vote share shrunk from 16.3 percent in 2011 to 3.8 percent in 2014.


PARTY Barak Valley Central Assam Lower Assam North Assam Upper Assam
AGP 0.78 2.78 3.40 4.69 6.21
AIUDF 26.59 21.88 19.99 3.55 1.98
BJP 33.31 33.59 28.39 39.41 51.35
INC 33.37 33.07 21.32 38.02 34.61

Table: Vote share(%) of major political parties in 2014 parliamentary electionsSource: Datamineria Technology (based on ECI data)


In view of the upcoming elections, political parties are exploring various equations. Prominent issues in different divisions are different. How these parties fit in the equations and the issues, only time will tell.

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