SILCHAR, March 17: With nomition papers submitted by candidates of different political parties are reaching its climax today, the last date being March 18, the electioneering is gradually picking up and the heat and dust is also being generated. The enforcement of ‘model code of conduct’ in force and under the watchful eye of Election Commission of India, political parties are now conscious and alert. Wall-writings carrying the messages of political parties and their leaders in the contest are conspicuously absent.
BJP is the only main opposition in Assam which came out with the lists of its candidates and taking advantage of it, candidates and their supporters have been silently on move reaching out to the voters to win their support. AIUDF, another contender in the race of power, has opted out of Silchar and Lakhipur seats, paving the way for direct contest between Congress and BJP. Congress which will face the challenge from BJP and AIUDF with other political parties on the fringe seems to have regained confidence to beat their opponents.
Significantly, the candidates of the Congress, BJP and AIUDF on their way to filing nomitions were accompanied by large number of workers and supporters give enough sigl that they are prepared for the toughest battle on April 4. The Election Commission has tightened its noose on expenditures by candidates and the flow of illegal money. In all, around 36 lakh slush money were seized from three different locations of Nilambazar, Rongpur and Dholai. Along with that the media, both electronic and print, have also become alert about the ‘paid news syndrome’ and taking every precautiory step to prevent it.
The administrations along with the observers, general and expenditure, are committed to hold elections in a free and fair manner. Other political parties which have entered the fray are SUCI, SP, CPM and CPI. On the whole, the contest as well predicted in this Barak Valley will be triangular. Some of the 15 assembly seats in focus will be Silchar, Udharbond, Lakhipur, South Karimganj, Algapur and Katlicherra. Bithika Dev, former MLA and chairperson of Silchar Municipal Board, is pitted against Dilip Kumar Paul of BJP who won the by poll of 2014 with record votes. Moreover, it is the cynosure of all the seats in the valley.
Udharbond is another hot seat from where Ajit Singh, minister of excise, transport and games and sports and a three time winner, is challenged by BJP and AIUDF. Another constituency which has always been a hot seat is Katlicherra where Gautom Roy, a formidable Congress leader, with unbeaten record of being elected MLA for 7 consecutive terms has now to accept the gauntlet thrown by BJP and AIUDF. Lakhipur is another constituency which has been domited by Congress since the first general elections and is now facing the challenge from BJP.
Another constituency in the reckoning is South Karimganj where the battleground is ready for the toughest fight between Siddique Ahmed, a minister, and Shipra Goon, all India general secretary of BJP Mahila Morcha, besides Azij Ahmed Khan of AIUDF. Another battle of interest and significance is between Mehz Rashid Choudhury, of AGP, daughter of late Sahidul Alam Choudhury, who was the close confidant of Prafulla Kumar Mohanta and also a minister, and Rahul Roy, son of Gautom Roy, former MLA. Though Kaushik Rai, Cachar district committee president of BJP, is also contesting from here, it will be friendly contest, claimed both the parties.