Even as the electioneering heats up for the third and the last phase polling in Assam, main opponents the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party have drawn up electioneering strategies to outsmart each other.
While the Congress which has a widespread organisational network in the state has focused on intensive grassroots campaign to neutralise BJP’s high decibel Modi-centric
blitzkrieg, the BJP has assigned a battery of its star campaigners including Modi to woo voters as well as to compensate for the party’s comparatively weaker organisation
base in the state.
Elections will be held in six constituencies -- Nagaon, Gauhati, Mangaldai, Barpeta, Dhubri and Kokrajhar on April 24 next. Out of these six constituencies, both the parties have not fielded any candidate in Kokrajhar constituency.
In the last elections, BJP won Nagaon, Gauhati and Mangaldai constituencies while the Congress won in Barpeta constituency. It was All India United Democratic Front which won in Dhubri constituency.
Both Modi and Rahul are scheduled to address election rallies at Nagaon on April 19. In Nagaon the poll battle is confined to the sitting BJP Member of Parliament Rajen Gohain, Jonjonali Baruah of Congress Mridula Barkakoty of Asom Gana Parishad and Aditya Langthasa of the AIUDF. Gohain has represented the Nagaon constituency in Lok Sabha for three consecutive terms so far.
Modi who earlier addressed seven massive rallies in Assam for the first and second phase polling, will address two more rallies in Mangaldai and Bongaigaon on April 19 besides the one in Nagaon.
Other senior BJP leaders including L K Advani, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Shatrughna Sinha are going to address election rallies in the constituencies going for polls on April 24.
The sitting BJP member of parliament Ramen Deka is facing a stiff challenge in retaining Mangaldai seat this time because of Congress candidate Kirip Chaliha and AGP candidate Madhab Rajbongshi who had earlier represented the constituency as a Congress candidate. The BJP candidate’s task has been made more difficult this time because of AIUDF’s decision to field a low profile candidate in the constituency with sizeable Muslim voters that has diminished the chances of large scale division of Muslim votes among the Congress and the AIUDF.
If the Muslim voters deciding not to ‘waste’ their votes by casting them in favour of the AIUDF candidate, then the Congress will gain from it. The AIUDF is a political party formed through amalgamation of a dozen minority groups.
In the Barpeta constituency, the battle of ballot has turned three-cornered among the BJP candidate Chandra Mohan Patowary, AIUDF candidate Sirazuddin Ajmal and sitting Congress MP Ismail Hussain. The lackluster performance of the Congress MP in the last Lok Sabha has put him in a disadvantage in this election.
In the Muslim-dominated Dhubri constituency, it is a fight among AIUDF president and sitting MP Badruddin Ajmal, Congress candidate Wazed Ali Choudhury, AGP candidate Anowar Hussain and BJP candidate Debomoy Sanyal.
In Guwahati, the electoral battle is getting intensified every day among BJP’s sitting MP
Bijoya Chakraborty, Congress candidate Manash Borah and AGP candidate Birendra Prasad Baishya.