By Debananda Medak
GUWAHATI: Not the question of development; rather, Hindu-Muslim narrative determines the faith of the contesting candidates during every parliamentary as well as assembly polls in the Barak valley which has become a major concern for a section of politically conscious citizens of the valley.
Talking to this correspondent, Biswajit Nath, a local and senior journalist of the valley said, “Particularly, after the emergence of the BJP as a ruling power both at the Centre as well as in the state, the Hindu-Muslim narrative has become stronger. Significantly, this dialectic has also strengthened the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), like never before in the Barak valley.”
Nath observed, “The implications of such polarisation will bring in religious influence on the governance. Under this given situation, the marginalised residents and localities will continue facing deprivation out of no fault of theirs.”
Biplav Kanti Paul, a veteran BJP worker of the valley said, “Almost in all the assembly constituencies located in the valley, Hindu-Muslin narrative has visibly been a major and deciding factor in every poll. We do not deny this. Obvious is the fact that this narrative itself is a historical process rooted particularly to the Barak valley.”
Paul observed, “When there is an AIUDF MLA, deprivation is reportedly concentrated in the localities where Hindus are predominant. Similarly, when there is a BJP MLA, equal deprivation is often reported from the religious minority Muslim areas. Hence, the primary agenda of the polls is shaped accordingly on this assumption.”
The veteran BJP leader critically observed that in between the BJP and the AIUDF’s fight for dominance on the basis of religious sentiments, the Congress has been facing a ‘collapse’ at the grass-root across the valley. “Congress’s liberal approach is not going to work anymore in the valley. Even the local AIUDF leaders of the valley are not in favour of the Congress’s Mohajutbandhan (grand alliance). AIUDF alone is quite confident of gaining maximum winners in the ensuing assembly polls leaving aside the Congress,” Paul added.