PARLIAMENTARY POLLS - 2019
* Himanta Biswa Sarma may contest from Tezpur
* Many MPs may not get party tickets this time
GUWAHATI, March 14: Though notification will be issued on March 18 for the first phase of general election to be held in Assam on April 11, both the Congress and the BJP — the two major political parties of the State — are yet to draw up the final lists of the respective party candidates possessing the ‘winnability factor’. It also appears that either party is adopting a ‘wait-and-watch’ policy to first check out the candidates’ list of the rival party.
The Congress is in a dilemma over the Guwahati parliamentary seat. The party leaders are scouting for an “ideal” candidate even outside the party. They have reportedly approached some renowned personalities in this regard; however, they have not received any positive responses from them. The name of Bhubaneswar Kalita, the party’s Rajya Sabha MP from Mangaldoi, is also doing the rounds for the Guwahati seat.
The Congress presently has three MPs (Members of Parliament) in the Lok Sabha. They are Sushmita Dev from Silchar, Gaurav Gogoi from Kaliabor, and Biren Singh Engti from autonomous district (Diphu). Party tickets are almost certain for both Dev and Gogoi. However, there appears to be some uncertainty with respect to according party ticket to Engti this time.
There are also differences of opinion among the top Congress leaders and party workers with respect to the seven Parliamentary seats of Nagaon, Lakhimpur, Karimganj, Dhubri, Barpeta, Mangaldoi, and Jorhat.
A similar state appears with respect to the saffron party. Sources said of the seven BJP MPs in the Lok Sabha, party tickets barring the last minutes changes, are sure for Pradan Barua from Lakhimpur LS seat and Rameswar Teli from the Dibrugarh LS seat. However, there appears to be some uncertainty with respect to the present incumbents in the other five LS seats, namely Ramen Deka (Mangaldoi seat), Rajen Gohain (Nagaon); Bijoya Chakraborty (Gauhati); and RP Sarma (Tezpur), and Kamakhya Prasad Tasa (Jorhat). It has been learnt that a survey of BJP has not been favourable with respect to the respective incumbents of the party in these five Parliamentary seats.
There are also reports that Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma would contest the Parliamentary polls from Tezpur this time.
On other hand, a meeting of the State BJP Election Committee held on Thursday afternoon chalked out panels for probable candidates for ten parliamentary constituencies. Talking to reporters, Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “We have worked out panels for probable candidates. The BPF has already fielded its candidate from Kokrajhar. Since alliance has already been forged with the AGP, the final discussion on seat sharing will be held in New Delhi. On March 16, the BJP Parliamentary Board will take the final decision.”
State president of BJP, Ranjit Kumar Dass said, “Four women have figured in our poll party panel. We have also adopted a resolution stating that Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma should contest the general election because the party’s central leadership wants him as a candidate.”
According to sources, the BJP has listed the names of Rameshwar Teli snd Pullock Gohain from Dibrugarh; Topon Kumar Gogoi, Kamakhya Prasad Tasa, Lakhya Konwar and Santanu Gogoi from Jorhat; Pradan Barua and Haren Deuri from Lakhimpur; Himanta Biswa Sarma from Tezpur; Roopak Sarma, Rajen Gohain and Angurlata Deka from Nagaon; Bijoya Chakraborty, Bijuli Kalita Medhi, Queen Ojha and Rupam Goswami from Guwahati; Ramen Deka, Dilip Saikia and Jayanta Malla Barua from Mangaldoi; Haren Singh Bey, Bidya Sing Engleng, Kashe Teronpi from autonomous district (Diphu); Rajdeep Roy and Parimal Suklabaidya from Silchar; Kripanath Malla and Amaresh Roy from Karimganj as its candidates for 10 Parliamentary constituencies. No panel of candidates was chalked out for Dhubri, Kaliabor and Barpeta constituencies since these seats are expected to be shared with the AGP.