Voters queue up to cast their votes during the second phase of the Assam Assembly election (Image credit: News18)

Bengali speaking voters may prove crucial in the second phase of Assam poll

Though the 39 seats which went to poll in the second phase of polling in Assam on April 1 reported around 77 per cent polling the whole process passed off peacefully.

Ironically, the media, especially the electronic channels, largely concentrated on the polling for 30 seats in West Bengal, the 39 seats which went to poll in central Assam and Barak Valley too have substantial Bengali-speaking population—both Hindus and Muslims.

Assam has around 75 lakh Hindu Bengali population. Besides it has substantial Muslim Bengali population too.

Thus, Hindu Bengalis form about one-fourth population and are largely concentrated in three districts of Barak Valley. There are in all 15 Assembly seats in them.

Hindu-Bengalis have been reposing faith on the BJP for the last several elections even when the saffron party elsewhere was not very strong. In 2016 Assembly poll too they voted heavily for the BJP.

But independent political analysts are of the view that this time little enthusiasm was observed among them in the polling held on April 1.

Many Hindu Bengali voters were heard expressing their dismay over the silence of the BJP towards the Citizenship Amendment Act though in neighbouring West Bengal the party’s manifesto promised about its implementation immediately after coming to power.

Besides, central Assam has Bodo and Muslim Bengali population too. The Bodos are likely to vote heavily in favour of Bodoland People’s Front which is this time, unlike in 2016, aligned with Congress and AIUDF.

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