Though initially assumed, the hunt for the prime ministerial throne was supposed to be a one on one battle, between Congress Vice President, Rahul Gandhi, often termed by critics as the yuvraj of Indian politics, and while on the other side stands the thrice-elected Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi. However, the story took a different turn after the recent Delhi assembly polls. As, with a spectacular and jaw dropping performance by the Aam Aadmi Party(AAP), it’s chief Arvind Kejriwal too, joins the race to 7 RCR. As AAP’s eyes are firmly fixated on the 2014 general elections, and Arvind having already made up his mind to contest from Varanasi against Modi, the battle now turns to be three cornered, with Rahul, Modi and Arvind in the race.
With the announcement of a third front on the 25th of February, comprising seven regional and four left-leaning parties, further makes the 2014 general elections unpredictable. According to many political experts, unlike the past, forecast of the 2014 polls has been a head scratchy task.
In Assam too, the clarion for the big game has clanged. Starting from the heart of the state, Guwahati, a challenging fight awaits between, Congress, BJP, AGP and AIUDF. Debutant Manas Bora, son of state social welfare minister, Akon Borah, is leading the baton for Congress. While, national vice-president, and sitting MP, Bijoya Chakravarty would contest for BJP. Anchoring AGP from Guwahati is Birendra Prasad Baishya, while contesting for AIUDF is Gopi Das.
Among all the candidates, being the oldest and experienced, Bijoya Chakravarty has an upper hand. Feels the same a confident Mrs. Chakravarty, she states. “This will be a fight between a grandmother and her grandchild.”
Bijoya Chakravarty’s edge could be well perceived from the fact that, she captured the Guwahati seat for the first time in 1999, under the premiership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, where she served as the Union Minister of State for Water Resources. However, during the 2004 polls, the BJP fielded music maestro Lt. Dr. Bhupen Hazarika replacing her. This led to a big hue and cry among the BJP workers and eventually Dr. Hazarika lost the seat. Understanding its mistake the BJP re-nominated Bijoya in the 2009 Loksabha election from the Guwahati seat and she ended up being victorious. On the other side, ever gaining popularity of the AIUDF over the years might be a worrisome factor for both BJP and AGP
On the contrary, AGP’s Birendra Prasad Baishya is seen as tough competitor to Bijoya Chakravarty. Baishya, who recently vacated his Rajya Sabha seat on cessation of its term, had previously served as the union minister of steel.
The other combatants for the Guwahati seat include, Pranjal Bordoloi from AAP and popular Assamese actor Biju Phukan from TMC, hoever they doesn’t seem to make much difference.
Among the 14 constituencies, one of Assam’s all time salient remains the cultural capital Tezpur. Furthermore, floating in the media, Tezpur has all eyes intact on it. The fight for this throne was primarily supposed to be between Shaikh Mohammed Sadiq from AIUDF and Bhupen Borah, present MLA from Bihpuria constituency and serving as AICC secretary. However, the shocker has come from Mani Kumar Subba, who after longing for AIUDF ticket from the cultural capital, has declared himself an independent candidate from Tezpur LS constituency. It would be worthwhile to mention that Subba served as the congress MP from Tezpur for three consecutive terms from 1998 to 2009. Subba who was refused ticket both by the congress and AIUDF said, “I will be contesting as a B-team for Congress. Since Bhupen Borah will assuredly lose this seat, therefore my decision to contest independently would save the seat from the grasp of other parties.” Subba was confident of winning from Tezpur constituency and further said that after his victory he would join hands with Congress as he was and would always be part of Congress.
At a time when there are 13 more Lok Sabha constituencies in Assam excluding Tezpur, it’s
surprising to see Tezpur as Moni Kumar Subba’s hot favorite. Even after desolated by both congress and AIUDF, Subba coming as an independent candidate for Tezpur itself, is indeed surprising.
Meanwhile controversies of nexus and foul play within the party are moving hand in hand. If sources are to be believed, prodigious friction continues between Dibrugarh candidate, Paban Singh Ghatowar and Ranee Narah candidate from Lakhimpur. Recently Narah came down fiercely and alleged State BJP president, Sarbananda Sonowal of accepting hefty amount from Pawan Singh Ghatowar. Reacting to this Sarbananda Sonowal has served a legal notice to Narah asking her to prove the allegations. While many claims the squabble between the two have been deliberately augmented by Paban Singh Ghatowar. This friction between Narah and Sonowal could impede Narah in winning the seat, whereas Ghatowar might sail through the election battle comfortably, with his last laugh.
Criminalizing and dynastic politics have been another talking point of Indian politics. It’s worthwhile to mention that the Congress candidate from Guwahati Manash Borah, son of Minister Akon Bora, has numerous criminal cases pending against him. As of recently, noted RTI activist Dulal Bora has filed FIR against Manash Bora for possession of movable and immovable assets, which according to Dulal Bora are being made illegally and illegitimately.
In another pending FIR against both father son duo of Akon Bora and Manash Bora, the Guwahati Lok Sabha candidate Manash Bora is alleged to have forged the signature of his minister–father Akon Bora to transfer an employee of the Social Welfare Department.
Previously, Dulal Bora also claimed to have been threatened by Manash Bora. In one of the instances Dulal Bora filed an FIR to the ADGP, CID, in which he alleged to have been manhandled at gun-point and his RTI documents being snatched by youths who came in a vehicle owned by Manas Bora, having the registration number AS–01–AP–0003.
The Congress Vice-President, Rahul Gandhi recently notified that candidates having criminal background or having cases of criminal offences would not be entertained. Howbeit, despite criminal records, Manash Bora receiving candidature, blatantly turning a blind eye to Rahul Gandhi’s notification, is certainly a disquieting and thought provoking fact.
Looking at criminalization of politics, a report by Times of India Group gives another shocking account. According to it, the 2009 Lok Sabha race saw tainted faces in 450 of 545 seats!!
With the mention about politics and influence of dynasty in it, over the years it’s been observed that the plausible congress PM candidate, Rahul Gandhi has been himself its flag bearer who has brooded to might through dynastic politics. Similar story continues in Assam too, where as mentioned previously along with Manash Bora, Assam Chief Minister, Mr. Tarun Gogoi’s son Gaurav Gogoi is all set to contest from Kaliabor Constituency. As per reports, this move of family elevation has made way for internal party conflicts, since some of the congress ministers and legislators are unhappy with it. However, the Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi has snubbed away these speculations.
Assam is all set to head for the polls in three phases, i.e. on April 7th, 12th and 24th. Thus, in the midst of this election hullabaloo, with each passing day, every voter certainly waits for the final mandate, craving for the country’s immaculate future.
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