By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, March 7: The stage for the Congress in Assam seems to be set for two major changes in the Assembly election this time around – more female candidates than even before to be in the poll fray and the party likely to be under the good grip of family politics, a tag that has been earned by the party in every sense of the term.
Comparatively more female candidates have come forward seeking party tickets this time. Over 100 female candidates have sought Congress tickets. While Bobita Sarma has sought party ticket from Guwahati East, Juri Sarma Bordoloi has sought from Guwahati West, students’ leader Munmi Dutta has sought from Palasbari, former ZPC member ndita Das from Boko, to me a few. They have already started working in their respective target LACs. This apart, all the sitting women MLAs of the party have also sought party tickets from the constituencies they are currently holding.
Meanwhile, talking to The Sentinel, Assam Pradesh Mahila Congress (APMC) president Shahz Yasmin Haque, who has sought party ticket from Dalgaon, said: “Women are capable of doing everything on their own nowadays. This apart, the Congress has always been laying more tress on women empowerment. We hope this year the number of women candidates will be more in the party than ever before.”
In the 2011 Assembly election in the State, the total number of women candidates in the State was 85, including 20 from the Congress. As many as 14 of the 85 female candidates won the election.
Meanwhile, the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) has stopped receiving applications seeking party tickets as the scrutiny of the applications submitted is underway. The first list of candidates of the party is likely by March 15.
A large number of kin of veteran Congress leaders in the State have sought party tickets. While Gautam Dhanowar, son of Digboi MLA Rameswar Dhanowar, has sought party ticket from Digboi LAC, Pramir Gogoi, son of Speaker Prab Kumar Gogoi, has sought party ticket from Sivasagar. Even APCC president Anjan Dutta’s daughter Ankita Dutta has also sought Congress ticket from Amguri, an LAC currently held by none other than Anjan Dutta. The Amguri MLA, according to sources, is contemplating on fighting the polls from Sivasagar LAC this time around. Other family members of veteran Congress leaders who have sought party tickets in this Assembly election are former Union minister Pabon Singh Ghatowar’s son Pranjal Ghatowar from Moran currently held by his mother Jibontara Ghatowar, Rajya Sabha MP Pankaj Bora’s son Santanu Bora from Guwahati East, Bhumidhar Barman’s scion Diganta Barman from Borkhetri, Membor Gogoi’s daughter-in-law Pallabi Gogoi has sought party ticket from Teok.
A according to political pundits, a section of senior Congress leaders in the State has been a nervous wreck in so far as getting party tickets is concerned. They are apprehensive of not getting party tickets this time around if Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s policy of bringing in young blood in politics becomes a reality. As though not feeling cosy to lose the ruling legacy a section of such senior leaders has been trying to field their kin in the electoral battle. Some of such ageing Congress leaders are Rameswar Dhanowar, Membor Gogoi, Prab Kumar Gogoi, Bhumidhar Barman and Jibontara Ghatowar.
Meanwhile, the APCC has med its State Election Committee (SEC) with party chief Anjan Dutta as the president. The other members of the committee are Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, Hemaprabha Saikia, Bhubaneswar Kalita, Dr. Bhumidhar Barman, Biren Singh Ingti, Rakibul Hussain, Pabon Singh Ghatowar, Karnendu Bhattacharya, zrul Islam, Sarat Barkataky, Tangka Bahadur Ray, Bharat rah, Prati Phukan, Arati Kachari Hazarika, Bhupen Bora and Ra Goswami, besides the heads of Congress Sevadal, Mahila Congress , Youth Congress and the NSUI.
The SEC will form panels of probable candidates and send them to the central election committee of the party headed by Sonia Gandhi for filize the lists.