Silchar: Just in the aftermath of the election, BJP candidate Kripanath Mallah, Congress nominee Swarup Das and AIUDF contender Radheshyam Biswas claimed before the media their win with confidence. Of course, the key to the question who the winner is lies in the ballot boxes sealed with the votes polled. But, an analysis of the trend, mood and the overall reactions of electorates as well the voting pattern does give an indication of the prospect of candidates in the reckoning. Here the fight is triangular despite the tacit tie up between Congress and AIUDF.
AIUDF is a big factor on this seat. In 2014, its candidate Radheshyam Biswas wrested the seat from its nearest rival Congress, pushing BJP to the third position. Now, the question that has been making round in political circles, has Congress given walk over to Badruddin Ajmal for his opting out of the 11 parliamentary seats in favour of INC? But, the call of two former Congress ministers, Gautom Roy and Siddeque Ahmed, to voters to oust both BJP and AIUDF has added an element of suspense. A leader of Ajmal brigade accused both the former ministers of working for BJP.
The call has its own fall out as the confused Muslims in general who by and large voted for Congress during the last panchayat polls have polled for Radheshyam Biswas. This has been admitted by BJP candidate Kripanath Mallah. If this has really happened, Congress will be at a disadvantage since of the 13,13, 467 voters in the constituency, 55% are Muslims. The heavy tilting of Muslim votes quite naturally be of advantage to BJP. Moreover, Hindu Bengalis who constitute 30% are expected to align with the saffron party. There is distinct polarization and this has been further strengthened by the ground report of tea tribe voters voting for BJP.
Kripanath Mallah, a tea tribe himself, a three time winner as an MLA and presently the Deputy Speaker in the Assembly, has wide influence in the tea belts of Karimganj and Hailakandi and a well a known face. He has been working assiduously for the socio-economic uplift of the tea tribe community and his story of success is well reflected at the hustings. Besides, the package of benefits for them as initiated by the NDA is expected to whip up support for Mallah. The whirlwind campaign by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Cabinet Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, MPs Kamakhya Prasad Tasa and Rameshwar Teli, cant but consolidate to a large extent the tea belt, tribal and other votes (15%) in favour of BJP candidate.
Congress candidate Swarup Das is a new face in the contest who has to bank on senior leaders for his campaign. Rahul Gandhi, Congress President, did come and campaign with his novel concept of “Nyay” and vistas of new hope for Barak people, but without much impact. Besides, a cavalcade of central and state leaders of the party also went all hog to impress voters to vote for Swarup Das. But, from all reckoning, Swarup Das is caught between the polarization of votes on communal and ethnic lines. Can he break it and emerge victorious? To know the winner of the battle on Karimganj seat for 2019, one has to wait till May 23.
Also read: Cachar news