MPs, ex-student leaders in fray for 5 Assam seats
Three sitting MPs and former student leaders are in the fray for the first phase of polls for Assam's five Lok Sabha constituencies, even as political parties are seen making last ditch efforts to gain votes for their candidates.
Voting will be held for the Tezpur, Kaliabar, Jorhat, Dibrugarh and Lakhimpur constituencies on April 11 and going by the list of candidates, it is assumed that the five seats are set for a straight battle of ballots between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led alliance and the opposition Congress.
The BJP has given tickets to two sitting Lok Sabha MPs -- Rameswar Teli (Dibrugarh) and Pradan Baruah (Lakhimpur).
The BJP has replaced the sitting MPs in Tezpur and Jorhat with new faces this time.
Pallab Lochan Das, the state's Labour Minister and former leader of Assam Tea Tribe Students' Association (ATTSA), will seek mandate from Tezpur in place of senior BJP leader and sitting MP Ram Prasad Sarmah. Topon Kumar Gogoi, the former leader of the All Assam Students' Union (AASU), is being fielded from Jorhat in place of sitting MP Kamakhya Prasad Tasa. Topon Kumar Gogoi, who joined active politics in 2016, is the state's Power Minister.
BJP ally, the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) has put Mani Madhav Mahanta, former AASU Vice President, in the Kaliabar seat. BJP is not putting up any candidates in Kaliabar as part of the alliance with AGP and will campaign for Mahanta.
Meanwhile, the Congress has fielded former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi's son Gaurav Gogoi from Kaliabar. In Jorhat, MLA Sushanta Borgohain is in the fray, while former MP Paban Singh Ghatowar is contesting the Dirugarh seat.
In Lakhimpur, Anil Borgohain has been fielded, while former bureaucrat MGVK Bhanu will contest from the Tezpur seat.
There are 2,17,60,604 eligible voters in Assam. A total of 75,16,284 electorates will cast their ballots for the five constituencies. - IANS