GUWAHATI: Amidst the celebrations of Holi, poll fever literally gripped Upper Assam on Friday when as many as three heavyweights – Rameswar Teli of the BJP, Sushanta Borgohain and Gaurav Gogoi of the Congress – filed their nomination papers. All the three candidates went to their respective returning officers (ROs) in mammoth processions, rending the air with slogans.
Congress’ Dibrugarh candidate Pabon Singh Ghatowar also went to the RO for filling his nomination papers, but could not due to a shortage of documents. He is now going to file nomination papers on March 25, the last date for nominations of the first phase of the Lok Sabha poll slated for April 11.
In Dibrugarh, Teli went to the RO in a mammoth rally accompanied by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and NEDA convener and State Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. Filing his nomination papers, Teli said: “In 2014 Lok Sabha poll I won by a margin of 1.85 lakh votes even as the BJP had only one of the ten MLAs in this parliamentary constituency. Now we’ve nine (eight of the BJP and one of the AGP) MLAs in this parliamentary constituency. The people of the constituency have seen development. I’m set to win with a bigger margin this time.”
Congress’ Jorhat candidate Sushanta Borgohain had to go to Jorhat via Sivadol in Sivasagar for paying obeisance. He too went to the RO in a big rally. Filing nomination papers, he said: “This is essentially the Congress’ turn. In the past five year, the sitting BJP MP did precious little for this constituency. Moreover, the voters are on a reject-BJP mode for the party backing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. If I come out the winner, erosion problem and inter-State border development will be my priority in the Parliament.”
Congress’ Gaurav Gogoi submitted his nomination papers for the Kaliabor seat before the RO at Nagaon. He, accompanied by MLAs Rakibul Hussain, Ajanta Neog, Roselina Tirkey and former minister Bishmita Gogoi, too went to the RO in a big procession that went to the Bordowa Than for paying obeisance. After filing his nominations, he said: “I’m set to make it to the Parliament again. The BJP-AGP’s is an immoral alliance that has no approval from grassroots workers.”
Seven candidates filed their nomination papers on Friday. They include Bhaskar Sarma (Independent) for Kaliabor, Kanak Gogoi of the CPI for Jorhat, Hemakanta Miri of the SUCI (Communist) for Lakhimpur and Ziaur Rahman (Independent) for Tezpur. With them, the total nominations filed so far is eight. Earlier, Congress candidate Anil Borgohain had filed his nominations for Lakhimpur constituency on March 20.
While Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal with BJP allies has his eyes set on all the 14 Lok Sabha seats in Assam, NEDA convener and Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma exudes the confidence of winning 19-20 seats from the Northeast for the alliance.
Both Sonowal and Sarma accompanied party’s Dibrugarh candidate Rameswar Teli who submitted his nomination papers on Friday.
Sonowal said: “We’ve our eyes set on all the 14 seats in Assam, and 12 seats are almost certain. We’re working hard to win all the 14 seats. We need to work with determination. The people of the State have seen development. We’re hopeful of getting support from all linguistic, ethnic and religious groups of plains and hills.”
Sarma said: “We’re set to win 19-20 seats from the Northeast. This is what we’re fighting for.”
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