Prolonging the suspense

Wednesday, 20 January 2021



Prolonging the suspense

Swapnil Bharali | March 23, 2019 11:27 hrs

The conversations in the coffee shops and clubs of Guwahati these days are invariably of the Gauhati Lok Sabha candidates; the suspense kept up by the various political parties in declaring the names of their respective candidates for this prestigious seat until recently has been chilling to say the least. Even as I write this, we are still awaiting the news of the Congress candidate, while mercifully the BJP candidate – Queen Ojha – has been declared thereby bringing an end to the Bijoya Chakravarty era.

Ojha has been a formidable politician throughout her career and carries a bulky baggage of credibility along with a squeaky clean image. It’s no wonder that the Congress looks to be at its wit’s end in fielding an equally impressive challenger to wrest the Gauhati seat from the BJP. Moreover, the master stroke in fielding Ojha could just be that the anti-incumbency factor that Chakravarty might have carried as a candidate could well be negated by Ojha.

In this situation, as I write this on this Friday afternoon while we wait for the Congress candidate’s name to be announced later in the evening, Bolin Bordoloi and Bobbeeta Sarma seem to be the front-runners and are looking forward with bated breaths to the suspense being ended. Between these two giant political parties, comparison of the candidates of both parties will be a natural consequence. From the 19 lakh plus voters in the constituency comprising the four assembly constituencies Guwahati city and the rest in the periphery comprising Dudhnoi, Chaygaon, Palasbari, Boko, Barkhetry and Hajo, Guwahati city, by itself, offers a voter base of more than 10 lakhs. And If I am to capture the pulse of the city currently, Ojha seems to already be several steps ahead. The BJP factor has only added weight to her candidature.

The Congress’s insecurity in this regard is hence understandable and the party taking its time in offering a suitable candidate is already kind of sending a wrong and defeatist signal besides churning the rumour mills unnecessarily. Add to this is a strong independent candidate, Upamanyu Hazarika, who is already on overdrive with his campaign and creating a strong impression within the city.

The city is clearly going to vote for the “right candidate” this time and the party winning the seat might just be incidental.

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