What are the odds of two brothers finding themselves pitted against each other in active politics beyond the platform of school debates and college elections? What, then, are the chances they represent political parties with a long history of ideological and political differences between them? What, then, are the chances that one represents the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and other the Indian National Congress (INC)?
Rupak Sarma and Santanu Sarma might have the answer to these questions, as they find themselves on either side of the fence in the ensuing Assam Assembly election.
Rupak Sarma, the current BJP MLA from Nowgong legislative assembly constituency in Nagaon district, is pitted against his cousin Santanu Sarma- the son of former Assam minister late Mukut Sarma.
The Nowgong LAC has a history of being a strong Congress bastion. However, the Asom Gana Parishad had won it in 1985, 1996, 2001 and 2006.
The constituency was won by the Congress again in 2011, however, BJP won it over in 2016 and it is believed that history will repeat in BJP’s favour in 2021 as well.
The constituency has a total of 1,66,786 voters and in 2016 a total of 1,40.456 voters cast their votes and BJP’s Rupak Sarma received a total of 66,706 votes.
He was closely followed by INC’s Dr Durlav Chamua who received 53,442 votes. With 18,038 votes, All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF)’s Kartik Saha was placed in the third position.
The election battle from this constituency is bound to get interesting this time as Congress and AIUDF are election allies and it is believed that a major portion of AIUDF’s vote share will go to Congress, providing them with an edge over the BJP.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, INC’s Pradyut Bordoloi defeated BJP’s Rupak Sarma by a margin of 16,752 votes. Bordoloi received a total of 7,39,724 votes while Sarma received 7,22,972 votes.
But the interesting fact here is that at the Nowgong LAC Sarma received 72,844 votes while Bordoloi received 71,419 votes. Even though Bordoloi was the eventual winner, however, at the said LAC he received 1425 fewer votes than his closest opponent.
Even though the AIUDF did not field any candidate in the Lok Sabha polls, it, however, did not help Congress at the said LAC.
Only time will tell if BJP’s Rupak Sarma will be able to cross the finish line or Santanu Sarma, Congress, and AIUDF will have the last laugh.
Polling at the Nowgong LAC will be held on April 1, 2021.