Sunday, May 15, 2011

Gogoi Makes History

It was simply meant to be. The Congress in Assam, led by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, won an enhanced majority in Northeast India's largest state even as the Opposition came crashing down. Now, it is just a matter of time before the Congress and its ally Bodoland People's Front form their third government: a historic event in Assam.

The Opposition's rout can be traced back to the sheer political stupidity shown by the Asom Gana Parishad in trying to stitch together the BJP and the AIUDF in an alliance. The very idea that a party of Bangladeshi immigrants and a nationalist right-wing party that wants to deport all such immigrants can come together for an alliance is laughable. Little wonder then that the entire alliance broke up and the AGP was pushed to a mere 8 seats, falling below the AIUDF and no longer the main Opposition party.

For Tarun Gogoi, the win is as historic as the election itself: it seems that Assam is looking at prolonged peace after the end of the long insurgency with the ULFA. Although the Paresh Barua faction did try to create some terror, it was clearly nothing more than a whimper. Now, Assam needs accelerated development, particularly the hill districts of Karbi Anglong and North Cachar Hills. Gogoi must deliver on his promises.

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