Assam and Punjab are the only two states where the Congress appears to be bucking the trend of suffering reverses in the Lok Sabha polls beginning next month. NDTV's opinion poll shows Rahul Gandhi's party making a clean sweep in Assam. The prediction, however, is predicated on the assumption that it will strike a partnership with Badruddin Ajmal's All India United Democratic Front, or the AUDF, which wields a lot of clout in the Muslim-dominated districts.
In the 2009 general election, the Congress had bagged seven of the 14 seats in Assam. The AIUDF had won one. The opposition BJP had triumphed in four seats, while the Asom Gana Parishad, or the AGP, had to rest content with one. The Bodoland People's Front had retained its stronghold of Kokrajhar.
The opinion polls shows the Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP alliance settling for a status-quo in Punjab. The Congress is predicted to win eight of the 13 seats - the same as it did in 2009. The NDA is shown to be ahead in five seats.
If the trend holds good in Punjab, it will be significant as the Congress had failed to dislodge the Parkash Singh Badal government in the assembly polls held two years ago.