Though the counting of Panchayat polls took close to three days in all the three districts of Barak Valley, the results that came out, made many to sit back and do a post-poll analysis and see how the pawns, read political parties, have changed in a chessboard of rural heartland of this region, feel political experts.
“In 2016, Assembly elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won six out of the seven Assembly seats in Cachar district, the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) won three out of three in Hailakandi, and in Karimganj district’s five seats, the Congress won one seat, while, the BJP and the AIUDF shared two each. The statistics put forth a picture to narrate,” said Pijush Das, a veteran journalist, who has covered many an electoral battles of Barak Valley and other parts of India, talking to Northeast Now.
The script so far, has not been any different as the AIUDF is all set to form its Zilla Parishad in Hailakandi and the BJP in Cachar, keeping the mandate of the people in mind that they bestowed in 2016, barring, the district of Karimganj, where the Congress has gained substantial ground this time round.
A twist in the tale only begins, when the post-mortem of the Panchayat poll results of these three districts this year, is done with that of the last, said Das.
“To begin with, first and foremost, let us change the pawns (political parties) from the chessboard of their positions. In Hailakandi, the AIUDF is set to take the batons from the Congress and that too for the first time, and likewise, the Congress from the AIUDF in Karimganj. In Cachar district too, for the very first time, the BJP will form its Zilla Parishad taking it from the Congress. This change of guard in all the three districts with one each to the Congress, BJP and AIUDF should make all and sundry, happy, literally,” said Das, talking to this correspondent.
However, Swapan Kumar Biswas, a political activist, while talking to Northeast Now said, “The mud-slinging would intensify. Above all, the levels of corruption and swindling of funds meant for development of rural masses during the previous regime would come under scrutiny and probe. If that is not enough, who has won from where would be the biggest point of discussion and assessment in the next few days, keeping general elections, 2019, in mind.”
Not to be left out, the political heavyweights of the BJP in Cachar have not only started a post-poll screening of the results, but, have started to sound the conch shells for wresting back the Lok Sabha seat of Silchar in 2019 LS polls. The Silchar seat is for now with Sushmita Dev, the All India Mahila Congress president and a close confidante of Rahul Gandhi.
Kabindra Purkayastha, former Union Minister and also a winner from this seat of Silchar twice earlier, in a press meet on Saturday last said, “The Panchayat elections and the results that have come in Cachar, go to show that the people have accepted the party as that of the ‘masses’ and not of the ‘elites’.”
The other two districts of Barak Valley, Hailakandi and Karimganj, with one Lok Sabha seat, taken together, have Radheshyam Biswas of the AIUDF at the saddle for the past four-and-a-half years.
The AIUDF not winning a single ZPC out of the four from South Karimganj even after having a sitting MLA from there, can raise a lot of eyebrows among the political circles, said Gourish, a resident of Karimganj.
To encourage their supporters and party workers, the ZPC winners of Cachar on Sunday evening brought out bike rallies and even bigger cavalcades to celebrate their victory on the streets of Silchar.
Meanwhile, all eyes would be upon the forthcoming general elections, slated a few months from now, to see, whether the mandate of panchayat elections would remain the same or there would be change of guard.
Celebrations by the Bharatiya Janata Party to form its first Zila Parishad in Cachar, has also been kept in abeyance for the past 48 hours. But, not anymore, for huge bike rallies and the blowing of the trumpets were witnessed in Silchar town on Sunday evening with some of the winning candidates of the Zila Parishad Constituency.