NEW DELHI, March 13 – The ruling Congress party has placed its bet on its old war horses rather than relying on new faces, re-nominating most of its known faces and sitting MLAs for the ensuing Assembly polls.
The AICC on Sunday afternoon released the names of candidates for 118 Assembly constituencies out of 126 Assembly segments. The candidates for the remaining eight Assembly seats are likely to be finalised this evening at a meeting convened by AICC general secretary and in-charge for Assam, Digvijay Singh.
The meeting is likely to be attended by Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi and PCC president Bhubaneswar Kalita. The pending seats include Haflong, Goalpara (West), Sarbhog, Guwahati (West), Tezpur, Gohpur, Jamunamukh and Tinkhong.
The pending seats have more than one candidate, while in the case of some constituencies the leadership has to take principled stand. In case of Gohpur, the Chief Minister and Kalita have divergent views over fielding Ripun Bora, who has been chargesheeted by the CBI in bribery case. Gogoi has opposed his re-nomination, while Kalita favours him over other candidates because of his potential.
However, the Central Election Committee (CEC) on Saturday night cleared the candidature of Debabrata Saikia, whose candidature was opposed on the ground of a CBI case. Yesterday, the PCC tried to wriggle out of the situation by nominating Congress Working Committee (CWC) member Dr Hemo Prova Saikia in his place. But at the CEC meeting the State leadership’s plea was reportedly turned down.
The party also faced a hurdle in Guwahati (West), where Nasir Khan was a last minute surprise entry. Party sources said that Khan’s name was not included in State Election Committee’s list, but was allegedly included at a later stage at the request of a powerful general secretary. The State leadership had a tough time placing Khan’s antecedents.
The development has left those in fray including Hemanta Talukdar, Juri Sarma Bordoloi, Chittaranjan Patowary and Dwijendranath Sarma, as well as the State Congress leadership clueless.
Meanwhile, the Congress has nominated 19 woman candidates, though president of the State Mahila Congress Sarifa Begum failed to make it. It has also fielded 20 youth leaders, and 23 candidates belonging to minority community. The minority lobby had demanded 36 seats.
Significantly, barring a couple of MLAs, the Congress party has re-nominated most of its 54 sitting MLAs, downplaying the anti-incumbency factor. The AICC’s survey report predicting 42 seats for the Congress has reportedly led to change of strategy, said sources.
As reported the prestigious Guwahati (East) has gone to Capt. Robin Bordoloi, ex-MP Kirip Chaliha has been nominated for Hajo seat. The only other ex-MP to make it included Bolin Kuli for Jonai (ST). For Dibrugarh seat Dr Kalyan Gogoi has been nominated.
Meanwhile, disappointed Congress aspirants gave vent to their anger and some of the ticket seekers accompanied by their supporters reached the houses of the Chief Minister and the PCC president. Some even threatened to file nomination as rebel candidates.
The Chief Minister, meanwhile, is returning to Assam on Monday ahead of the March 17 deadline of filing of nomination for the first phase.
Meanwhile, APCC president Bhubaneswar Kalita said that they have finalised the list of candidates for the eight remaining seats this evening and the same would be announced after it is cleared by Sonia Gandhi.
The Congress list: Ratabari (SC) (Kripanath Mallah), Patharkandi, (Monilal Gowala), Karimganj North, (Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha), Karimganj South, (Siddeque Ahmed), Badarpur, (Jamal Uddin Ahmed), Hailakandi, (Abdul Muhib Mazumdar), Katlicherra, (Gautam Roy), Algapur, (Rahul Roy), Silchar, (Sushmita Dev), Sonai, (Anamul Haque), Dholai (SC) (Girindra Mollik), Udharband (Ajit Singh), Lakhipur (Dinesh Prasad Goala), Barkhola (Dr Rumi Nath), Katigora (Anwarul Haque), Bokajan (ST) (Klengdoon Engti), Howraghat (ST) (Khor Sing Engti), Diphu (ST) (Bidya Sing Engleng), Baithalangso (ST) (Dr. Mansing Rongpi), Mankachar (Dr. Motiur Rohman Mondal), Salmara South (Wazed Ali Choudhury), Dhubri (Nazibul Umar), Gauripur (Mohibul Haque), Golakganj (Abu Taher Bepari), Bilasipara West (Ali Akbor Miah), Bilasipara East (Bharati Baruah), Gossaigaon (Chrisostom Tudu), Kokrajhar West (ST) (Reena Brahma), Kokrajhar East (ST) (Rajeswar Brahma), Sidli (ST) (Supriya Rani Brahma), Bongaigaon (Prabhat Baisnab), Bijni (Khalilur Rahman), Abhayapuri North (Abdul Hai Nagori), Abhayapuri South (SC) (Chandan Kumar Sarkar), Dudhnai (ST) (Sibcharan Basumatary), Goalpara East (Dulal Chandra Ghosh),
Jaleswar (Aftab Uddin Mollah), Bhabanipur (Dr Manjushree Pathak), Patacharkuchi (Dr Malaya Barman), Barpeta (Abdul Kayem), Jania (Abdul Khaleque), Baghbar (Rajib Ahmed), Sarukhetri (Dr Tara Prasad Das), Chenga (Sukur Ali Ahmed), Boko (SC) (Jayanta Das), Chaygaon (Rekibuddin Ahmed), Palasbari (Smt Niva Sharma Thakuria), Jalukbari (Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma), Dispur (Akon Bora), Gauhati East (Capt Robin Bordoloi), Hajo (Kirip Chaliha), Kamalpur (Uttara Kalita), Rangiya (Ghanashyam Kalita), Tamulpur (Chandi Basumatary), Nalbari (Jayanta Malla Baruah), Barkhetri (Dr Bhumidhar Barman), Dharmapur (Nilamani Sen Deka), Barama (ST) (Pani Ram Rabha), Chapaguri (ST) (Bikram Singh Brahma), Panery (Santiuse Kujur), Kalaigaon (Rupa Rani Bhuyan), Sipajhar (Binanda Kumar Saikia), Mangaldoi (SC) (Basanta Das), Dalgaon (Ilias Ali), Udalguri (ST) (Bisti Kumar Basumatary), Majbat (Jitu Kissan), Dhekiajuli (Habul Chakraborty), Barchalla (Tanka Bahadur Rai), Rangapara (Bhimananda Tanti), Sootea (Hiranya Bora), Biswanath (Nurjamal Sarkar), Behali (Pallab Lochan Das), Jagiroad (SC) (Bibekananda Dalai), Marigaon ( Smt Jonjonali Baruah), Laharighat (Dr Nazrul Islam), Raha (SC) (Pijush Hazarika), Dhing (Dr Idris Ali), Batadroba (Gautam Bora), Rupohihat (Salma Jesmine), Nowgong (Dr Durlav Chamua), Barhampur (Suresh Borah), Samaguri (Rockybul Hussain), Kaliabor (Tapan Kumar Borah), Hojai (Dr Ardhendu Kumar Dey), Lumding (Shefali Dey), Bokakhat (Arun Phukan), Sarupathar (Arkilias Tirkey), Golaghat (Ajanta Neog), Khumtai (Bismita Gogoi), Dergaon (SC) (Arati Hazarika Kachari), Jorhat (Rana Goswami), Majuli (ST) (Rajiv Lochan Pegu), Titabar (Tarun Gogoi), Mariani Rupjyoti Kurmi), Teok (Membar Gogoi), Amguri (Anjan Dutta), Nazira (Dr Debabrata Saikia), Mahmara (Sarat Saikia), Sonari (Sarat Barkotoky), Thowra (Sushanta Borgohain), Sibsagar (Pranab Gogoi), Bihpuria (Bhupen Kumar Borah), Naoboicha (Sanjay Raj Subba), Lakhimpur (Ghana Buragohain), Dhakuakhana (ST) (Bharat Chandra Narah), Dhemaji (ST) (Sumitra Doley Patir), Jonai (ST) (Bolin Kuli), Moran (Smt Jibon Tara Ghatowar), Dibrugarh (Dr Kalyan Kumar Gogoi), Lahowal (Prithibi Majhi), Duliajan (Smt Amiya Gogoi), Naharkatia (Pranatee Phukan), Chabua (Raju Sahu), Tinsukia (Rajendra Prasad Singh), Digboi (Rameswar Dhanowar), Margherita (Pradyut Bordoloi), Doom Dooma (Rupesh Gowala), Sadiya (Bolin Chetia).