JORHAT, March 1 – The candidature of four sitting Congress MLAs in the Chief Minister’s home district has become a matter of concern for Tarun Gogoi himself as well as the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) ahead of the Assembly elections. All the MLAs are allegedly involved in rampant corruption due to which even sections of party workers do not want them as candidates in the forthcoming polls.
Except the Chief Minister’s home constituency Titabor, in all other constituencies internal conflict prevails among the party activists.
The four MLAs in question are Rana Goswami from the Jorhat LAC, Rupjyoti Kurmi from Mariani, Membor Gogoi from Teok and Rajiv Lochan Pegu from Majuli. Rana Goswami and Rupjyoti Kurmi were elected from Jorhat and Mariani in 2006, while Membor Gogoi and Rajiv Lochan Pegu won two elections consecutively in 2001 and 2006 from Teok and Majuli respectively.
Membor Gogoi had to face the agitation of party leaders of both Kaliapani and Chipahikhola blocks. The president of tehe Kaliapani block Congress, Jibon Boruah is one of the contenders for the Congress nomination from Teok. As many as 10 aspirants have challenged sitting MLA Gogoi. Though Gogoi himself is not reportedly directly involved in corruption, he is believed to have succumbed to pressure from flatterers for toeing their line. People alleged that during the last 10 years, corruption has totally crippled the development works in the LAC. A section of Congress workers have also sent a letter to the Congress supremo, Sonia Gandhi, requesting her not to offer candidature to Membor Gogoi again. In such a situation, the higher-ups of the party have become sceptical about fielding Gogoi for the third time from Teok, it is leant.
Likewise, a section of Congress workers alleged that during his tenure, Rupjyoti Kurmi, too, has not done any remarkable work in the Mariani LAC. An immature politician that he is, Kurmi always remains surrounded by a group of sycophants and ignores senior partymen for which several members of the Zila Parishad and Anchalik Panchayat have already deserted the Congress during this period. As many as 12 aspirants have been demanding party candidature in the election. Though Kurmi belongs to the tea tribe community, even some people of his community are against him due to the alleged negligence he has shown during the last five years.
The latest activities of Jorhat MLA Rana Goswami are also not satisfactory for party leaders in the State. One allegation against him is that he uses ruffians to accomplish tasks in his favour. The public, on the other hand, alleged that most of the schemes in the constituency have been painted in Congress colours during his tenure.
Hiten Goswami, AGP general secretary, told this correspondent that whenever they organise a party meeting, ruffians hired by the Congress and guarded by police go to that place and vitiate the atmosphere due to which the AGP has decided to stop organizsing such meetings in Jorhat. He alleged that the district administration is also working at the direction of Rana Goswami.
On the other hand, in Majuli, Rani Narah, who has taken position on the opposite pole of the Chief Minister in the Congress party, organised several meetings and formed parallel committees there. So, this has made the situation unfavourable for sitting MLA Rajiv Lochan Pegu. It will be worth noticing how Tarun Gogoi manages to save the position of the present MLA in the course of time.