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30 years in a row: Will Phani Bhusan Choudhury be able to retain Bongaigaon this time ?

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  30 March 2016 12:00 AM GMT

From our Correspondent

Bongaigaon, March 29: “In the year 1985, when I was elected for the first time as MLA of Bongaigaon constituency, there was not a single Gazetted officer’s office in Bongaigaon region. Not even a Circle Office. If anybody had to attest any certificate, then they had to go to Boitamati which is 25 km away from the present Bongaigaon town. And see the difference now. Now Bongaigaon is a district head quarter and also unofficial commercial headquarter of lower Assam region. Is somebody asks me about my biggest achievement as representative of Bongaigaon constituency, then he must come to today’s Bongaigaon town and compare it with the earlier Bongaigaon town,” said Phani Bhusan Choudhury, MLA of 32 no. Bongaigaon legislative assembly constituency.

Phani Bhusan Choudhury from AGP remained unbeaten for the last 30 years in this constituency. This is the seventh time he is participating in the election as AGP-BJP-BPF alliance candidate. Talking about his achievements during his long tenure, he said that formation of Bongaigaon district in 1989 during AGP government in Assam was the first one. “In the history of Assam, Bongaigaon is the first district which was not a subdivision or Circle before. Among the others, there was no option for higher studies for science students of Bongaigaon. During my tenure the Birjhora Science College was established which is now one of the prestigious colleges of Assam. The people who have seen the days before my tenure, will say the difference and development of Bongaigaon with B. Ed College, Law College, Kanya College (Girls’ College). They will also speak about the difference in infrastructure, shape and quality of governmental schools of Bongaigaon constituency,” he said.

“Road communication had also developed. In 1985 there was only a single concrete road in Bongaigaon constituency from Chapaguri to North Salmara. And now all the villages of my constituency are covered by concrete road. Indoor stadium, Basangaon outdoor stadium, swimming pool, everything is there. Among the ongoing major projects, construction of Rabindra Bhavan in Palpara area (estimated cost around Rs 2.5 crore), Birjhora Public Library-cum-Auditorium (estimated cost around Rs 1.55 crore) are about to be completed,” he said.

“I will get more than 70,000 votes this time. I don’t think anyone can challenge me. Congress will get the second position,” he said.

Talking about ST categorization of Koch-Rajbongshi community, he said that he had raised the issue in the Assembly. “In this regard a committee from all parties had visited the Prime Minister and Union Home Minister and submitted memorandum for ST categorization of six communities. But this had not been fulfilled as yet just because of negligence and conspiracy of Congress, he alleged.

When asked whether votes of Muslim people would be affected due to AGP’s alliance with the BJP, Choudhury said, “I never had an anti-Muslim image. As much as I constructed temples, I have also constructed mosques. Not a single voter will deviate for my image as well as the AGP’s image. Congress candidate Sankar Prasad Rai, who was previously with the BJP and before that was AASU president, will not get votes from Bengali people for his AASU connection and from Muslim people as just one month ago he was with the BJP. Even a major chunk of Congress voters will not cast vote in his favour as he parachuted as a candidate for this constituency, overtaking all the hardworking grassroots Congress leaders of Bongaigon.”

“I just want to unify all Assamese people, irrespective of caste, community, language. Alliance with BPF is another reason behind it so that people, whether Bodo, Rajbongshi, Kalita or Bengali will enjoy the same right and facility. And as I know the people of Bongaigaon, they also know me since the last 30 years. I know, they will give me a grand victory this time,” he said.

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