The final phase

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The final phase

Swapnil Bharali | April 20, 2019 14:12 hrs


Come 23rd April and Guwahati city will go to polls to elect its Member of Parliament. The first two phases of polls have seen an encouraging turnout with voting percentage touching 80% in some centres. This is a healthy trend and essentially means that the young segment of the population has participated in the world’s largest democratic exercise and so is politically conscious about exercising its right to choose its representative in the Parliament.

 

Guwahati city itself should be no different where voter turnout is concerned. In the last general elections of 2014, Gauhati constituency recorded a high turnout of 73%. With the new faces in fray grabbing the imagination of Guwahatians, animated discussions in cafes, offices and street corners all point to a robust voting day ahead. 

 

The point of concern over the final phase of elections in the state is the volatile constituencies of Kokrajhar, Dhubri and Barpeta. If I recall right, voter turnout in Barpeta and Kokrajhar in 2014 was poor to say the least – the latter had a measly 66% people voting and yet it saw some violence with one policeman being killed and two others injured in the process. The remoteness of the particular area allowed a free-for-all between the supporters of two candidates who tried to snatch away an EVM machine and the victims were caught in the ensuing intervention. Be that as it may, we are witness to a better monitored election this time and while the first two phases saw violence-free voting, the final phase may do well to emulate the rest of Assam.

As for Gauhati LS seat, having personally interviewed the three most visible campaigners from the BJP, Congress and an Independent, I am inclined to believe that each of them has come forward with certain personal visions to the ensure that the constituency gets due recognition and notice of the Parliament for its future betterment. Each has been very clear about how to develop the 10 assembly constituencies that fall within the overall ambit of the Gauhati constituency. They have been mutually respectful of each other giving a feeling of being good candidates rather than wily ones and so offering the luxury to the voter of choosing the right candidate over the right party.

 


Here’s hoping for a free, fair and violence-free elections at Guwahati for 2019.

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