It’s Ahom Vs Ahom in Jorhat
Jorhat is the 12th Lok Sabha constituency in the state of Assam and it is one of the key constituencies for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in the state. Two communities - the Ahoms and the tea tribes - have played the major roles of king-makers from this constituency.
Congress always had a strong presence in this constituency since independence. The party had won the constituency 12 times. Even former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi won the seat twice in 1971 and 1977. Only in 1984 it lost once to the AGP's Parag Chaliha and lately in 2014 to BJP's Kamakhya Prasad Tasa.
During the 2009 Lok Sabha elections veteran Congress leader Late Bijoy Krishna Handique won the seat against Kamakhya Prasad Tasa with a vote margin of 290,406. But, in 2014 elections the opposite happened; Kamakhya Prasad Tasa defeated Handique with a margin of 102,420 votes.
There was a vacuum in Jorhat parliamentary constituency after the death of Bijoy Krishna Handique in 2015, especially in the Congress. Soon, everyone was curious as to who the party will nominate from the seat for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Last month on 16th March the Congress Central Election Committee announced its first list of candidates for Assam.
Surprising many, on the list was former Thowra MLA Sushanta Borgohain who was nominated to contest for the Jorhat Lok Sabha Seat.
However, all didn’t go well among senior members in the party. Congress leader and former Assam CM Tarun Gogoi was not in favour of Borgohain as the Lok Sabha candidate from Jorhat. Gogoi had openly protested against the party’s decision to field Sushanta from Jorhat and MGVK Bhanu from Tezpur. Tarun Gogoi wanted Gayatri Handique as the preferred candidate from Jorhat as she is the daughter of late BK Handique, a close friend and colleague of Gogoi.
On the other hand it was expected that sitting MP Kamakhya Prasad Tasa who belongs from the Adivasi community which plays a vital role in electing MPs from the constituency, would be the BJP candidate for the seat. But surprisingly the BJP high command decided to field Assam power minister and Sonari MLA, Topon Kumar Gogoi for the seat. So, now Jorhat suddenly has a new face as the BJP Lok Sabha candidate.
Both Topon Kumar Gogoi and Sushanta Borgohain belong to the Ahom community. The decision by both the BJP and the Congress to field Ahom faces from the seat is a move to woo the Ahoms of the constituency. However, it would be a very tough call to declare which candidate will have an edge over the other and one can only wait till the results are out.
Day of polling: 11th April
Polling stations: 1753
Total voters: 1,433,900
Male voters: 729,239
Female voters: 704,661
Total assemblies: 10
Jorhat, Titabar, Mariani, Teok, Amguri, Nazira, Mahmara, Sonari, Thowra, Sibsagar