MORIGAON, Dec 8 - Political parties are gearing up their activities for the forthcoming Tiwa Autonomous Council (TAC) election to be held for 19 seats in Morigaon district on December 17.
As many as 58 candidates are in the fray for 19 seats in the district. Election will be held for 11 seats in Nagaon and Hojai and 6 seats in Kamrup Metro district on the same day. The Council�s headquarter is Morigaon because the majority of the Tiwa-dominated areas are located in this district, and, as such, as per the accord of the Tiwa Autonomous Council 1993, the council was formed in a scattered way and it has no boundary. However, the All Tiwa Students� Union has been demanding of the government to include 126 more Tiwa villages within TAC which are scattered in Karbi Anglong and Dhemaji districts.
Since its formation on ad hoc basis during the Hiteswar Saikia regime way back in 1993, this is the third time that election to the TAC has been scheduled.
Earlier, in 2010, the first election of TAC was held and the Congress got the majority and Rama Kanta Deori became the Chief Executive Member (CEM). The second election was held in 2015 and Tiwa Jatiya Oikya Mancha clinched power and Paban Manta became the CEM. But, both Rama Kanta and Paban Manta later joined the BJP by leaving Tiwa Jatiya Oikya Mancha.
This time, the BJP has fielded 17 candidates out of 19 seats in the district. There is a rift between Rama Kanta Deori, MLA, Morigaon, and Paban Manta, CEM of TAC. Deori, who was the CEM of TAC during 2010-15, claimed that to retain power, CEM Manta has fielded his supporters as Independent candidates in many seats.
On the other hand, Manta said that Deori was involved in corruption and obstructed development works in the TAC during his tenure.
Be that as it may, the rift between Deori and Manta may lead the BJP to a very critical situation in the forthcoming election, which may allow the opposition Congress to seize the opportunity.
The 19 seats of the TAC in Morigaon district are Jamadari, Borongoni, Bhurbandha, Konwargaon, Dhekiphala, Manipur, Garmari, Ghaguwa, Damal, Tetelia, Jonbeel, Na-khula, Nelie-Khala, Gobha, Bihubori, Solmari, Bhumuraguri, Charripunia-Chabudhara and Borchila.
Among them, two seats, i.e., Bihubori and Solmari, are open for all, while the other 17 are reserved for ST. Partywise, the number of contestants are as follows � BJP-17, Congress-17, AGP-6, Aam Aadmi Party-4 and Independents-14.
In the Gobha seat, only one nomination paper was accepted, i.e., of the BJP candidate, while Congress candidate Konkona Bordoloi�s nomination was rejected by the administration on the pretext that she could not submit the original documents on November 28. This led to a controversy, with the Congress party, headed by Nagaon MP Pradyut Bordoloi, alleging that police, at the behest of an influential minister of the district, �abducted� the Congress candidate�s husband on that day to capture the seat uncontested. As such, the Congress has approached the Gauhati High Court to settle the issue.
Another significant aspect is that the all-time revolutionary tribal leader Tulsi Bordoloi has joined the BJP and contested the TAC election from the Na Khula seat.
Political observers feel that the BJP higher-ups are seriously contemplating making him the future CEM of TAC if the BJP is voted to power.
It is quite clear that a direct fight is on the cards between the BJP and the Congress in most seats of the Tiwa Autonomous Council.