Assam government and politics involves the various political parties that rule the state and function as opposition in the legislative assembly. There are many political parties in the Indian state of Assam such as Indian National Congress (INC), Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Communist Party of India (CPI).
Government of Assam
The Government of Assam is the regional ruling authority of the state of Assam, Republic of India. The head of the state is the Governor of Assam. At present, the Governor of the state is His Excellency Mr. Banwarilal Purohit. The Chief Minister of the state functions as the head of the government. He is also the leader of the legislative party sitting in the treasury bench. Presently, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal is the Chief Minister of Assam. The Assam Legislative Assembly consists of 126 elected members or legislators. Assembly elections take place in the state after every five years unless it is stated otherwise. The Chief Minister of the state is helped in running the government by a council of ministers, which is nominated by the chief minister himself.
National Parties in Assam
Assam, an important state located in the northeastern part of India, is known for its significant presence in Indian politics. As far as politics in India is concerned, the state always stays at the front position and it is significantly plagued by the ULFA strikes and other radical activities carried out by this separatist organisation. Following the most recent ULFA attacks in the state, the national level political parties in Assam have consented on one viewpoint that they should gain courage and attempt to stop terrorism at any cost. The most important national level political parties that dictate the political state of affairs in the state are as follows:
- Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
- Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)
- Indian National Congress (INC)
- Communist Party of India (CPI)
- Communist Party of India (Marxist), also known as CPI (M)
The political system of the state is overseen by the Governor of the state. He is helped in his functioning by the Chief Minister together with his ministry, who are elected to the legislative assembly of the state. The Indian National Congress has been dominant in the state since the country gained its independence from British dominion in 1947. The party ruled the state till 1978. In 1978, a Janata Party Government took over the control of Assam. Nevertheless, the government had a short stint and the Indian National Congress returned to power once again in 1980. They ruled the state till 1985. In 1985, the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), a party which backed the Assam Agitation, was elected by the people of the state to rule the state for the next five years. After 1985, the Asom Gana Parishad and the Indian National Congress governed the state alternatively till 2001. Since 2001, the Indian National Congress again came to power and since then the party has been ruling the state in an uninterrupted manner. They became successful in winning the assembly elections held in 2006 and 2011 successively. Tarun Gogoi is the only Chief Minister in the chronicles of the state to be chosen as the CM for the third successive time. However, Sarbananda Sonowal succeeded Tarun Gogoi in 2016.
Council of Ministers
The Council of Ministers of Assam is headed by the Chief Minister of the state and aids the head of the state in governance. The ministers are assigned various departments. The Chief Minister, generally himself looks after the Home ministry and other departments like political, finance, public works and departments not specified or allotted to ministers. The chief minister works with the help of the Assam Council of Ministers for the welfare of the state of Assam. A list of the ministries of Assam is stated below:
- Ministry of Revenue, relief and rehabilitation, Implementation of Assam Accord and Administrative Reforms and Training
- Ministry of Agriculture and Welfare of Plains Tribes and Backward Classes
- Ministry of Urban development and housing
- Ministry of Hill Areas, Mines & Minerals and Veterinary
- Ministry of Water Resources and Parliamentary Affairs
- Ministry of Co-operation and Cultural Affairs
- Ministry of Excise and Border Areas
- Ministry of Food and Civil Supplies, Minorities Welfare and Development and Haj Affairs
- Ministry of Elementary Education, Secondary Education and Higher Education
- Ministry of Panchayat and Rural Development and Transport
- Ministry of Environment and Forests, Tourism, Printing and Stationary and Information and Public Relations
- Ministry of Planning and Development, Labour and Employment, and Tea Tribes Welfare
- Ministry of Social Welfare and Jails
- Ministry of Irrigation, Soil Conservation and Fishery
- Ministry of Industries & Commerce, Power (Electricity), Public Enterprises
- Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Guwahati Development, Information Technology, and Science & Technology
- Ministry of Textile and Sericulture, Judicial and Legislative
Current Governor of Assam
At present, His Excellency Banwarilal Purohit is the Governor of Assam. He took charge of the state on 17 August, 2016.
Departments under the Assam Government
Following is the list of various departments under the government of Assam:
Assembly Constituencies in Assam
In 1937, there were 108 assembly constituencies in the state. The number came down to 105 in 1957. Since 1962, the number of assembly seats was increased to 114. Since 1972, the number of assembly constituencies has become 126. Among these seats, sixteen seats have been reserved for scheduled tribe candidates and eight have been reserved for scheduled caste candidates.