SUALKUCHI, April 13 – After the process of nomination came to an end on April 9, candidates of nine political parties, namely the AIUDF, AAP, INC, BJP, RDSC, AGP, AITC, Lok Bharati and SP besides nine Independent candidates were left in the fray for the Lok Sabha polls to be held on April 24.
This time election for Guwahati Parliamentary Constituency is likely to be a triangular contest and the contesting candidates will obviously face a tough situation due to the present political scenario.
The AGP has fielded Birendra Prasad Baishya, who was a member of the Rajya Sabha and was vocal in his criticism of the government’s policies and also raised the burning problems in the Parliament.
Manas Bora, the son of Akan Bora, the sitting MLA of Dispur LAC will contest from the Indian National Congress party. The sitting MP Bijoya Chakrabarty will contest from the BJP and Gopinath Das, the sitting MLA from Boko will be in the fray as an AIUDF party candidate. Noted cine actor Biju Phukan from All India Trinamul Congress will contest while Gopi Barua from Lok Bharati party, Pranjal Bardoloi from AAP, Bandana Barman Barua from SP and Kazi Nekib Ahmed from the Regional Democratic Secular Congress Party will contest for the prestigious seat.
Moreover, nine Independent candidates who are in the fray are Anil Bhagabati of Pakarkon under Hajo PS, Azad Ali, Khargeswar Das, Md Zakir Hussain of Gandhmow under Sualkuchi PS, Dhiraj Medhi, Padmeswar Phukan, Pradip Kalita, Dr Faruk Ahmed Bhuyan and Benedict Alok Areng.
The Guwahati Lok Sabha seat consists of 10 Legislative Assembly constituencies. They are 48 No Boko, 49 No Chhaygaon, 50 No Palasbari, 55 No Hajo, 51 No Jalukbari, 52 No Dispur, 53 No Pub Guwahati, 54 No Pachim Guwahati, 60 No Barkshetri and 36 No Dudhnoi constituency. Of the 10 LACs, 7 seats have been occupied by INC party MLAs, one seat by AIUDF, one seat by AITC and one seat by an Independent candidate.
In the last Assembly election held in 2011, Capt Robin Bardoloi of the Congress secured 47,727 votes in the Pub Guwahati constituency, Rekibuddin Ahmed of the Congress got 64,307 votes in Chhaygaon constituency. Himanta Biswa Sarma of the Congress got 93,812 votes in Jalukbari constituency, Akan Bora of the Congress got 83,096 votes in Dispur, Hemanta Talukdar of the Congress secured 54,343 votes in Paschim Guwahati. Dr Bhumidhar Barman of the Congress got 53,958 votes in Barkshetri constituency and Siba Charan Basumatary of the Congress got 46,890 votes in Dudhnoi constituency.
During the last Lok Sabha election in 2009 sitting MP Bijoya Chakrabarty of the BJP defeated INC candidate Capt Robin Bardoloi. Bijoya Chakrabarty got 4,96,047 votes and Capt. Robin Bardoloi polled 4,84,192 votes. Among 12 candidates in the fray, Sonabor Ali of AIUDF got 73,312, Akshay Rajkhowa of NCP got 11,089 and an Independent candidate Rina Gayary Das got 11,082 votes.
It is speculated that the present political situation throughout the country is against incumbency of the ruling Congress party.
Moreover, prolonged dissidence within the Congress party will aid in the victory of the nearest Opposition party. On the other hand, though the mandate of the Lok Sabha poll in 2009 went in favour of the BJP, it is not crystal clear for the sitting MP Bijoya Chakraborty as to whether she will be able to retain the seat in spite of the Modi wave blowing across the country. During the last Lok Sabha poll, Bijoya Chakrabarty won this prestigious seat by a margin of over 11,855 votes by defeating her Congress opponent Capt Robin Bardoloi. This time she will face a triangular fight, and particularly Birendra Prasad Baishya of the AGP will prove to be a steep hurdle for her in the race.
Meanwhile, the INC has started campaigning in various Assembly constituencies by opening election offices at different places, and organising bike rallies, besides holding group meetings among the party workers in every nook and corner. The BJP too has been launching a vigorous campaign in various Assembly constituencies. Birendra Prasad Baishya is trying to organise the party workers at the grassroot level and has held meetings with elite people of the society. The other parties have also started campaigning in some places, but it is yet to gain momentum.
In all, 18,98,628 voters will decide the fate of 18 candidates in Guwahati HPC.