In Assam, the Congress might blame its defeat on a 15-year anti-incumbency. However, it was worsted as much by the effective strategy of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the nonchalance of its Vice President Rahul Gandhi in retaining talent.
A more audacious leader could have tried harder to keep Himanta Biswa Sarma and his group of rebel legislators in the party. After he quit the Congress last year, Sarma bitterly spoke about howwould show more interest in petting his dog than focus on the discussion at hand when Sarma met him over several meetings in 2014-15.
In contrast, the BJP leadership had an eye on the Assam Assembly polls ever since it won seven of the 14 seats and 37 per cent vote share in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. BJP chief Amit Shah underlined the importance of the victory on Thursday. He said it was a huge achievement for the party as Assam is a border state, hinting at the over 30 per cent minority population in the state. “A BJP government in Assam is as surprising for some people as our government in Jammu and Kashmir,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.