Akhil Gogoi: A game changer in assembly polls

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Historic Sivasagar scripts another chapter in Assam’s political history

HT Correspondent

SIVASAGAR, May 3: All the four constituencies of Sivasagar district have gone to non-BJP parties barring the 103 Amguri seat which has been retained by BJP’s ally AGP in the elections despite an all-out effort of the saffron party to make a dent in the traditional Congress bastion.

A number of BJP’s top leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah joined the campaign rallies for their party candidates in the district, Surobhi Gogoi, Mayur Borgohain and Kushal Duwori but that was not enough. Appeasement to select section of the voters, as the CAA and other issues like price rise and shoveling politics of rebel nomination aspirants finally proved stronger factor here.

In a neck to neck fight for the 107-Thowra seat, Congress candidate Sushanta Borgohain won by a margin of 2,006 votes against BJP candidate Kushal Duwori. Sushanta Borgohain got 48,026 votes while Kushal Duwori managed to get 46,020 votes out of total 95,751 votes polled. AJP candidate Dipen Tanti got only 1,705 votes while 319 votes were rejected. Sushanta Borgohain earlier won from the constituency in 2011 and lost it to Kushal Duwori in 2016. After being elected Sushanta thanked the people who voted for him despite having no star campaigner. He assured that he would work for both the people who voted for him and also for those who did not.

Pradip Hazarika, veteran of many electoral battles, retained the prestigious 103-Amguri for 6,179 votes. His success is creditable in the face of virtual stand-off of the local BJP unit of BJP in extending support to him prior to the elections.

Of the 1,02,571 valid votes polled, Pradip Hazarika got 49,891 votes while Ankita Dutta managed to secure 43,712 votes. Chandra Baruah of the AJP received 6,987 votes, Pradip Hazarika (Ind) got 1,022 and another independent Rajkumar Duwora managed to get 959 votes. A total of 1313 votes went to the NOTA’s kitty while 108 votes were rejected.

In 105-Nazira, sitting Congress MLA Debabrata Saikia was successful in overcoming a stiff challenge from the young BJP candidate Mayur Borgohain to make it three in a row from Nazira. Debabrata won the poll battle by slender margin of 683 votes. Mayur Borgohain had a strong backing from the state’s powerful finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Union home minister Amit Shah campaigned for him in the constituency. Of the 1,08,688 total valid votes polled,  Debabrata Saikia got 52,387 votes against Mayur Borgohain’s 51,704 votes. Rubaliya Gogoi of AJP got 2896 votes, Haren Borgohain of AIFB 680 votes and Mintu Barua (I) got 1,061 votes.

RTI activist and a leading figure in anti-CAA protest Akhil Gogoi  made history in the state’s elections 2021 by winning the prestigious 107 Sivasagar from the jail  defeating  nearest rival BJP’s Surabhi Rajkumari convincingly by a margin of 11,875  votes. Contesting as an independent candidate, Akhil Gogoi got 57,219 votes of the 1,23,538 valid votes polled in the constituency while Surabhi Rajkumari got 45,344 votes and Subhramitra Gogoi of Congress got only 19,329 votes. Among other candidates, Ajit Hazarika (NCP) got 434 votes, Rupa Bora 819 votes and Hemanta Baruah 435 votes.

A total of 639 votes went to NOTA and 298 votes were rejected. It may be mentioned here that Surabhi Rajkumari lost the battle for a second time and earlier in 2016 she lost to former assembly speaker Pranab Kumar Gogoi of Congress.

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