“A wise decision” is perhaps an appropriate way to describe the reported agreement between the BJP and the Asom Gana Parishad to forge “an alliance in principle to fight the coming election together” because today the latter, which tasted power twice between 1986-1991 and 1996-2001, is a poor shadow of itself and is not in a position to go it alone. The parties share a common vote-bank. This, however, is not the first time they are displaying such piecemeal political infusion and solidarity. In the past they together fought both the state assembly and general elections ignoring stiff opposition from grassroots BJP workers. State BJP unit chief Sarbananda Sonowal, who is also Union minister of state for sports and youth and the BJP&’s chief ministerial candidate, is well aware of this and has assured them that the alliance “is in the larger interest of defeating the ruling Congress.” The BJP has bolstered its position by teaming up with the Bodo People&’s Front led by Hagrama Mohilary who in the 2006 elections allied with the Congress and supported chief minister Tarun Gogoi. But in 2011 it contested on is own. His members (about a dozen) make a formidable team, and in the event of no single party securing the magic figure of 64 he is certain to emerge as the kingmaker. Besides, the BJP has earned the support of some plains tribal communities promising them Scheduled Tribe status. They have a say in more than two dozen seats.

The Congress is going it alone and so is the Muslim-dominated All India United Democratic Front headed by Badrauddin Ajmal. This party is also going to be a kingmaker. But it is doubtful whether it will lend support to any alliance that includes the BJP. As of now no party seems euphoric. Gogoi may have enemies but it is said in politics there are no foes or friends.