Assam Election 2021: It’s BJP Vs Congress in Lahowal

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Posted in Assam, Assam, Elections, Featured, Northeast

The undercurrent of the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) movement can still be felt in parts of Assam- especially in the upper Assam districts of Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, and Sivasagar.

Even though the Bharatiya Janata Paty (BJP)-led NDA is confident of winning easily from most of the assembly constituencies in these districts, however, selection of candidates from certain constituencies has raised several eyebrows.

Once such constituency where the selection of candidate has raised eyebrows is the Lahowal constituency in the Dibrugarh district of the state.

Lahowal has always been a strong Congress bastion and it has won every election since 1957 expect 1983 when independent candidate Dipen Tanti emerged victorious and in 2016 when BJP’s Rhituparna Baruah had the last laugh.

Baruah in 2016 had defeated four-time Congress MLA Prithibi Maji by a margin of 19,559 votes and the saffron party’s decision to deny an election ticket to him came as a surprise for the people of Lahowal, especially his supporters.

“It is a conspiracy against Baruah,” his supporters had said after the BJP named Binod Hazarika as Barua’s replacement from the constituency.

Well, now there is nothing left to argue and debate as nomination papers have already been filed and Rhituparna Baruah is still with the party and what remains is only rumours of a dissidence.

“Chabua has been a strong Congress bastion and when AGP requested the constituency, the BJP agreed and decided to field Rhituparna Baruah’s brother Punakon Baruah from Chabua and shifted the incumbent Chabua MLA Binod Hazarika to Lahowal, due to which Rhituparna Baruah had to sit out,” said a Dibrugarh-based journalist seeking anonymity.

“Even though there are rumours of dissidence, however, these are rumours only,” he further added.

“I have visited Chabua and Lahowal and other parts of the district and from my experiences, I can say that there has been massive development in these areas. Not just in Chabua, the BJP-led alliance have a strong chance to win from Lahowal as well,” he added.

He further said that while the AGP might have the last laugh in Chabua, however, it will be a direct fight between the BJP and Congress in Lahowal.

Congress has fielded Manoj Dhanowar- the son of former Congress minister Rameswar Dhanowar-from the constituency.

“The result will depend upon how well the candidates can campaign and woo the voters, especially the tea tribe community. The only issue that will work here is development. People have seen what Congress has done in the past and what the BJP do in the last 5 years. This is the key factor. But yes, the contest will be a close one between the Congress and the BJP,” said Seema Baruah, a resident of Lahowal.

The other candidates contesting from the constituency are Likhon Baruah of Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP), Dibyajit Dutta of the Raijor Dal (RD), Pranab Saikia of the RLSP and independent candidate Prabhulal Vaishnava.

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