ASSAM ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS
Bigwigs vie to put on grand show en route to filing nomitions, 331 candidates file nomitions for first phase
Guwahati/ Jorhat, March 18: Attempting to seize early electoral ground, candidates vied with each other to put up a grand show as all roads led to the offices of returning officers in constituencies across the State on the last day of submission of nomitions for the first phase of polls.
'The flashier the better' was the hallmark of cavalcades accompanying candidates, sigling the onset of a noisy campaigning season for the ensuing assembly elections.
The otherwise sleepy town of Titabor was in ferment on Friday with Congress and BJP cavalcades marching like opposing armies as Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and BJP rival Kamakhya Prasad Tasa filed their nomition papers amidst much fanfare.
Seeking re-election for the fourth consecutive time from Titabor, Gogoi was escorted by a large number of Congress leaders, workers and supporters carrying flags, banners and traditiol musical instruments to the sub-divisiol officer's office where he filed his nomition papers. The three-time chief minister's wife Dolly Gogoi was at his side.
"It is really heartening to see such a huge gathering of people. I am thankful for the love and affection the people of Titabor have shown me. I am confident that I will win the election," said Gogoi after coming out of the SDO's office.
Earlier, Gogoi's supporters took out a massive procession from Rajiv Gandhi Sports Complex in Titabor. An elated Gogoi said the rally was enough to ensure his victory in the constituency and that he had no plans to campaign separately.
"The people have already sent me to Dispur today itself. I am thankful that the people of Titabor have come in large numbers to support me despite the fact that I have not been able to spend much time here," said Gogoi, adding that the Congress will get more than the required 64 seats to form the next government in the State.
The BJP has fielded Lok Sabha MP from Jorhat Kamakhya Prasad Tasa against Gogoi. Tasa too filed his nomition papers on Friday in Titabor. He was accompanied by State BJP president Sarbanda Sonowal and senior leader Mahendra Singh.
"The Chief Minister has been representing Titabor since the last fifteen years, but he has been indifferent to the problems of the constituency. I am confident the people will vote for a change this time," Tasa said.
After filing his nomition from Tezpur constituency, four-time former legislator AGP's Brindabon Goswami exuded confidence that he would win.
Former Union minister Paban Singh Ghatowar, who is contesting from Moran, a seat represented by his wife in the currently assembly, said the Congress will sweep all seven constituencies in Dibrugarh district this time.
Supporters of AGP leader Dr Kamala Kalita organized a huge rally at Chayygaon before filing his nomition. BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma also took part in the rally.
Among others bigwigs who filed their nomition papers today were AGP leader Prafulla Kumar Mahanta (Barhampur), Congress leaders including Speaker Prab Kumar Gogoi (Sivasagar), Pradyut Bordoloi (Margherita), Sarat Barkataky (Sori), Prati Phukan (harkatiya), Rajiv Lochan Pegu (Majuli), State Congress president Anjan Dutta's daughter Ankita Dutta (Amguri), Bismita Gogoi (Khumtai), Rupjyoti Kurmi (Mariani), Bidya Singh Englang (Diphu) and Khorsing Engti (Howraghat), and Independent candidate Jiten Gogoi (Bokakhat).
Congress MLA from Duliajan Amiya Gogoi filed her nomition as an Independent candidate after her party nomited Dhrubajyoti Gogoi from the seat this time.
A total of 139 candidates filed their nomition papers today, taking the number of candidates in the first phase of assembly elections to 331.
The scrutiny of nomition papers will be held tomorrow. Polling for 65 constituencies will take place on April 4 and for 61 constituencies on April 11. Friday was the last date for filing of nomitions for constituencies going to the polls in the first phase.