Guwahati: BJP is hopeful that its alliance with AGP will prevent a division of anti-Congress votes. To boost its prospects, BJP is trying to forge more alliances with ethnic and regional parties.AGP was in 1985 after the signing of the Assam Accord, which put an end to the six-year-long anti-foreigner movement in the state. The party had championed the cause of freeing Assam from Bangladeshi infiltrators. BJP did the same. It is this issue that has served as common ground.

AGP entered an alliance with BJP in the 2001 assembly polls when the former won 20 seats and the latter won eight of 126 assembly seats. In the 2006 state polls, when AGP and BJP did not enter an alliance, AGP's seat tally rose to 24 and BJP won 10 seats. In the 2009 LS polls, BJP won four seats while AGP managed to win only one. This time, the parties were in alliance. In the 2011 assembly polls, the seat tally went up to 10 and BJP's to five when they were not in alliance.

AGP's base has eroded significantly among Assamese and tribal voters over the years, while BJP has been able to make way for itself.

A major portion of Muslim electorates are now with Ajmal's AIUDF and Congress. BJP's worry is that without alliances with regional and tribal political outfits, Congress will have an edge. The saffron party already has an alliance with BPF. Muslims comprise a substantial chunk of the electorate (34%) and have always played a decisive role whenever there has been a BJP-AGP alliance.

Senior BJP leader and party spokesperson Dayananda Borgohain dismissed the idea that the alliance only benefits BJP. "We have gone beyond sentimentalism and struck the alliance for mutual benefit," Borgohain said.