The ruling Congress has performed a hat-trick in Assam. It won the Assembly election by a landslide. In the results, which were declared on Friday, it secured an absolute majority. The ruling party won 78 of the 126 seats, while its coalition partner Bodoland People's Front (BPF) won 12.

The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) suffered a humiliating defeat. The AGP managed to win only ten seats, while the BJP's strength was reduced to five.

The All-India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), on the other hand, increased its tally to 18 from the ten it won in 2006 to emerge as the second largest party. The Trinamool Congress made its presence felt in the State by winning a seat, while the left parties drew a blank. The AGP was pushed to the fourth position behind the BPF.

The poll outcome cleared the decks for Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi become only the second Chief Minister after Bimala Prasad Chalia to win a third consecutive term.

Mr. Gogoi, who won from Titabar constituency by a margin of over 54199 votes, told journalists that the people reposed faith in the Congress-led coalition government for bringing back peace and undertaking development work. He said that the elected representatives of the party and the high command would decide who would be the next Chief Minister.

He announced that even though the Congress had secured more than the magic number, the alliance with the BPF would continue. The new government would take oath before May 19.

The party positions are as follows:

Total seats: 126. Congress -78; AIUDF -18; BPF -12; AGP -10; BJP - 5; AITC - 1; independents - 2

In 2006, the Congress won 53 seats, BPF 11, AIUDF 10, AGP 24, BJP 10, CPI(M) 2 and CPI 1.

State Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who was one of the star campaigners of the ruling Congress, scripted a new record in Assam's political history by winning with the highest ever margin of 77304 votes against his nearest BJP rival Pradyut Bora. Dr. Sarma polled 93812 votes while Mr. Bora got 16409.

AGP president Chandra Mohan Patowary and State BJP president Ranjit Dutta were among the prominent losers. Others forced to bite the dust include Cabinet Ministers Bharat Narah and Nurjamal Sarkar, the former AGP president, Brindaban Goswami, and senior AGP leader and former Minister, Kamala Kalita.

Leader of the Opposition and the former Chief Minister, Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, won from the Barhampur assembly constituency, but lost to Environment and Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain in Samaguri constituency. Mr. Mahanta and the former AGP president, Brindaban Goswami, alleged that the ruling party manipulated the EVMs to defeat Opposition candidates. They said the party had been asking the Election Commission to use ballots instead of EVMs to ensure a fair poll.

Congress leaders and workers rushed to Rajiv Bhawan here to celebrate the landslide victory by bursting crackers, dancing and singing.