Political Tension and Violence in Western Assam During
India’s 16th Lok Sabha Election, 2014
By Bhasker Pegu
The recurrence of violence in early May 2014 in western Assam, especially the Bodoland region, at the time when national elections were conducted in phased manner, is one of significant issues in the history of Indian democracy. The timing of targeted killings right after the Lok Sabha poll in the region has left many to wonder whether citizens can exercise their right to franchise according to their conscience. The orchestrated violence has been discussed hotheadedly in the political circles with a succour of national dimension as it had more to do with political parties’ impending votes those churning secular rhetoric. The wave of violence in post-poll period in Bodoland autonomous region of Brahmaputra valley before the announcement of results indicated the looming peril in the northeastern region, whose history is interwoven with ethnic mobilisation and violence by numerous indigenous groups. The massacre in Assam linked to the future political insecurity, threats and tensions among competing groups over political representation in the Parliament of India. The poll results also showed that majority of the voters were not in favour of the Bodo candidates in Kokrajhar constituency.