Guwahati, January 28, 2019:
By the large number of protests rocking the state of Assam, one could be led to believe that the BJP government is quickly losing support all over the state. Surely the numerous black flag protests as well as effigy burning and general feeling of unrest suggests the BJP are on their way out, right? Wrong. The BJP, in fact, have been performing exceptionally well in the autonomous council elections in the state, scoring convincing wins in all the polls they have contested.
Himanta Biswa Sarma, one of the two seniormost BJP leaders in the state, was quick to point out the BJP’s victories in a Tweet:
Delighted at stupendous performance of BJP in The election of Tribal Councils
Jautha Sangram Samity +BJP 34 of 36, AGP & @INCIndia 1 each;
BJP 18, Cong 5, Ind 3;
Ganasakti +BJP 34 out of 35, Ind-1
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) January 28, 2019
Thus, despite the hue and cry over the Bill, it seems the BJP have not lost support among tribal communities. Which begs the question, what do these communities really want? Surely, they would not sit idly while the identity of the ‘jati’ is being decimated by the influx of Bangladeshis?
Well, first of all, we have to consider to what extent people from these far-flung areas can relate to the identity of ‘Axomiya’. Have they been so ignored and so left out from the concerns of the rest of the state that they do not think their interests overlap those of the rest of Assam? The political map of India will be redrawn in a couple of months in the Lok Sabha elections as the nation heads to the polls, but it remains to be seen whether the opposition can make convincing enough promises of ‘achche din’ to lure voters like the BJP have, especially in the backwaters of Assam.