In Dibrugarh, Ghatowar faces a tough opponent in Rameshwar Teli
GUWAHATI: In upcoming Lok Sabha elections, Dibrugarh LS seat will see a tough contest between two strong contenders from the tea garden background namely Paban Singh Ghatowar representing Congress and Rameshwar Teli- the sitting BJP MP.
Paban Singh Ghatowar is a Congress leader who has been elected as a member of parliament (MP) for five times. He contested and won from the Dibrugarh Lok Sabha constituency in Assam during Lok Sabha elections in 1991, 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2009.
He became an MP for the first time when he was 41 years old in 1991 from Dibrugarh.
The 68-year-old will face off with Bhartiya Janata Party’s (BJP) sitting MP Rameshwar Teli in Dibrugarh in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections. He was runner-up in the last elections and lost to Teli.
Born in December 1950, Ghatowar completed his graduation from Gauhati University in Bachelor of Arts in 1970.
As per the information provided in myneta web portal, Ghatowar has declared moveable assets worth Rs 2.48 crores in total while his immovable assets are worth Rs 3.29 crores. On the other hand, the former MP has declared a total liability of Rs 12.48 lakhs.
Prior to entering into mainstream politics, the five-time MP was serving in the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) for a long time where he worked closely with the tea garden workers for their upliftment and development. The INTUC is the trade union wing of the Indian National Congress.
There is a strong presence of members belonging to the tribe communities in Dibrugarh constituency. Out of a total population of around 11 lakhs in the constituency, the population of tea tribe members is close to four lakhs.
As the constituency is surrounded by a number of tea gardens, the community of tea garden workers is set to play a major role during the elections.
Dibrugarh has traditionally been considered a Congress bastion as the party has won the Lok Sabha seat consecutively from 1951 to 1999. The Dibrugarh seat constitutes of nine assembly constituencies- most of which are currently held by the BJP.
The former minister has also held the post of the union deputy minister, labour from 1991 to 1993; union deputy minister health and family welfare between 1993 and 1995 and also the union minister of state for health and family welfare.
After the 2009 general elections, Ghatowar was elected as the chief of whip for the Congress parliamentary party, Lok Sabha.
Ghatowar also served as the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge), Development of North Eastern Region and Parliamentary Affairs from July 2011 to May 2014.
A few months ago, rumours were rife that Ghatowar is planning to quit the Congress and that he was set to join the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). However, the contesting candidate put the rumours to rest and announced that he is not planning to quit the Congress.
“I am and will always be with the Congress. People with vested interest are spreading rumours about me joining another party,” said Ghatowar adding that he is travelling to a number of different places across the state in order to strengthen the party at the grassroots level.
As per his affidavit, Ghatowar has no criminal cases registered against him.