More post-poll analysis of the pattern in which Assam electorates voted different parties in the just-concluded elections show that there was an unprecedented consolidation of Hindu votes in favour of BJP-led alliance.
It confirms that BJP leaders’ speeches to polarise votes along religious lines had more than desirable results with 63% of voters who identified themselves as Hindu, when asked their religion, voted for the BJP and its allies.
A survey by Lokniti-CSDS published in Indian Express said that around two-thirds each among the Bengali and Assamese Hindus voted for the BJP-AGP-BPF alliance.
In 2011, 4 out of 10 Bengali-speaking Hindus had voted for the BJP (alone), the level of support for the party among Assamese Hindus was just 1 in 10. However this changed in 2014, with both Bengali Hindus and Assamese Hindus voting in almost equal measure for the BJP.
The level of polarisation attempt by the BJP leaders can gauged by one speech by the BJP president, Amit Shah, who had even resorted to fabricating historical facts while trying to woo Hindu voters to vote for the saffron party.
In March, Shah had told a rally in Assam how how Chaolung Sukapha, the founder of the Ahom Kingdom, had defeated Mughals 17 times.
But, Shah’s speech writers, missed the historical facts by just 300 years.
Sukapha founded Ahom dynasty in 1228 AD and died in 1268 AD.
Mughal dynasty in India started after the first Battle of Panipat in 1526 AD.
In contrast, Muslim votes, were severely divided with community voting for BJP, Congress and the AIUDF.
Had minority voters in Assam, which has 34 percent Muslim voters, second highest after Jammu and Kashmir, followed the pattern of Delhi and Bihar, the election outcome in the state would have been considerably different.
Two-fifths voted for the Congress and a little over a third for AIUDF.
Two-thirds of Assamese-speaking Muslims voted for the Congress, among Bengali Muslims, the vote was divided almost equally among the Congress and AIUDF.
Aside from showing more consolidation than Muslims, Hindu voters also outclassed the minorities in terms of the voter turn-out. Survey data indicated that that a greater proportion of Hindus (86%) may have turned out than Muslims (82%).