SILCHAR: The three LACs (Legislative Assembly Constituencies) of Hailakandi, Algapur and Katlicherra in the district of Hailakandi also under Karimganj Parliamentary Constituency will pose a thorny battleground for the alliance of BJP-AGP (Bharatiya Janata Party- Asom Gana Parishad).
This is primarily because of the fact that the AIUDF (All India United Democratic Front) was the sole winner here during the 2016 Assembly elections. And in 2021, by forming alliance with the Congress, the AIUDF has gained more confidence to remain unbeaten with its new ally. But, it will not be that easy either.
The AGP – time-tested partner of the BJP — has influence over minority voters who will be the determining factor to tilt the balance. That, of course, depends on the concerted and cohesive campaign by the workers and supporters of both the parties in favour of the alliance candidates. For the key seat of Hailakandi, Milan Das, a new face and diehard worker with a lot of organisational experiences, is set to contest against Zakir Hussain Laskar of the AIUDF backed by the Congress.
Both Milan and Zakir, according to political watchers, will have to work hard to win support of the voters. The battle line in this urban constituency has been drawn between the BJP and the Congress alliances. This seat was a Congress bastion since 1952; but, it went to the BJP in 1991.
Besides, Congress domination here ended in 2016 after the AIUDF wrested it from the INC (Indian National Congress). It is a travesty of fate that the seat of Katlicherra held by Gautom Roy – one of the most powerful Congress MLAs and Ministers, who has the record of six consecutive wins here since 1985 — got a drubbing at the hands of AIUDF candidate Saujam Uddin Laskar in 2016. It was such a humiliating defeat for Roy that he left Katlicherra and shifted to Silchar. He found green pastures in the BJP and joined it to contest from Katigorah.
Against Sujam Uddin — the winner of 2016, the BJP has fielded Subrata Nath with wide contacts as a Sangha activist and immense organisational capability. For Subrata Nath, the road to success looks not so difficult if viewed in the context that the Congress has fielded Sanjeev Roy, calling it a friendly contest.
The poll scenario of the most sensitive Algapur constituency is also interesting where AGP has set up Aftab Uddin Laskar — party's district president, against AIUDF's Nizam Uddin Choudhury, who is the sitting MLA. The pitch is queer for the saffron alliance as the BJP has also fielded a woman candidate — Moon Swarnakar, describing it as a friendly game. To add colour to the contest, Daisy Roy — wife of Rahul Roy, son of Gautom Roy — is fighting as an Independent candidate.
With battle lines drawn and the candidates ready to fight it out in the political turf, their success or defeat will depend more on strategy and chemistry as well as the booth-level management.