Queen eyeing urban voters, Bobbeeta wooing rural people

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Gauhati set for battle royale between two women ** CAB major poll plank for Upamanyu, Junmoni

HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, April 20: The prestigious 7-Gauhati Lok Sabha constituency has alternated between the Congress and the BJP, and is currently held by Bijoya Chakravarty of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) who defeated Manash Borah of Congress by a margin of 3,15,784 votes in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

2019 will see a total of 17 candidates contesting from this prestigious seat. However, the main battle will be between Bobbeeta Sharma of Congress, Queen Oja of BJP and Upamanyu Hazarika (Independent). It is noteworthy that Gauhati is the only constituency where two major parties like the INC and BJP have both fielded female candidates. While these two will be locked hard in a tight battle the other two names who have also upped their chances are independent candidates Upamanyu Hazarika and Junmoni Devi Khaund.

Other candidates who are also in the fray for this seat are: Sadek Ali (Independent), Shankha Sinha (Independent), Utpal Buragohain (Independent), Alimuddin Ahmed (Independent), Rubi Neog (Independent), Mamoni Sharma (Purvanchal Janata Party -Secular), Manoj Sharma (TMC), Avijit Chakraborty (Bharatiya Gana Parishad), Pankaj Das (Swarna Bharat Party), Faruk Ahmed Bhuyan (Independent), Rajib Kakati (Hindustan Nirman Dal), Partha Pratim Baruah (VPI) and Ratul Kumar Choudhury (Samajwadi Party)

Both BJP and Congress have fielded fresh faces for this constituency and with some very dynamic names in the fray such as Upamanyu Hazarika, it surely promises to be nail biter contest this time round. Except for 2004 elections, when Kirip Chaliha of the Congress won, this constituency has been represented by veteran BJP leader Bijoya Chakravarty since 1999.

This constituency has ten assembly segments – Dudhnai (ST), Boko (SC), Chaygaon, Palasbari, Jalukbari, Dispur, Guwahati East, Guwahati West, Hajo and Barkhetry. This constituency is partially urban, owing to the presence of Assam’s most important hub Guwahati. In 2014 Lok Sabha election here, BJP’s Bijoya Chakravarty registered an absolutely stellar win by decimating Congress’ Manash Borah by over 3,15,784 votes. Others like AIUDF’s Gopi Nath Das and Asom Gana Parishad’s Birendra Prasad Baishya – were placed third and fourth, respectively.

Interestingly, Chakravarty won from this constituency on a BJP ticket for the first time in 1999 before being replaced by noted singer Bhupen Hazarika in the 2004 election. Dr Hazarika lost and the party returned the constituency to Chakravarty who won from here in 2009 election. That year, her winning margin was 11,855 votes against Congress’ Captain Robin Bordoloi.

This time round, while Bobbeta is eyeing for the voters of the rural areas, Queen is trying to woo the voters of the urban people on the promise of development. However, Upamanyu Hazarika and Junmoni Devi Khaund are also not far behind in wooing voters by raking up the development issue and taking firm stands against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. This Bill is the major poll plank for both Hazarika and Khound.

With the highest number of  21,78,617 voters among all the 14 Lok Sabha seats in Assam, the 7 No Gauhati Lok Sabha seat has 11,00,746 male, 10,77,793 female and 78 Third Gender voters. 2,592 polling stations, highest among the 14 parliamentary seats of Assam, will be set up for the polling in Guwahati.

Meanwhile, former chief minister Tarun Gogoi took a dig at BJP’s candidate for Guwahati Lok Sabha constituency Queen Oja saying she isn’t a qualified enough to represent the state in the Lok Sabha.

“BJP’s Queen Ojha isn’t a qualified candidate since she was a member of Zila Parishad. We need a candidate who is fit for speaking for us at the Lok Sabha. She will aimlessly adhere to the guidelines of Narendra Modi,” Gogoi said addressing a press conference here Saturday.

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