GUWAHATI/NAGAON/SILCHAR, Sept 16 � The ruling Congress suffered yet another setback in the bypolls as the party managed to win only one of the three Assembly seats, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) managed to win one seat each.
In Silchar constituency, Dilip Kumar Paul of the BJP was elected to the Assembly. He polled 74,839 votes, while his nearest rival Arun Dutta Mazumder of the Congress received 37,457 votes and the AIUDF candidate Nur Ahmed Borbhuyan came third. The seat fell vacant after Susmita Dev of the Congress was elected to the Lok Sabha.
The Congress, however, retained the Lakhipur seat as Rajdeep Goala, son of former Minister Dinesh Prasad Goala was elected to the Assembly. Goala received 39,159 votes, while his nearest rival Sanjay Kumar Thakur of the BJP received 29,322 votes and AIUDF candidate Mukesh Pandey came third. The seat fell vacant after the death of Dinesh Prasad Goala.
The AIUDF retained the Jamunamukh seat as Abdur Rahim Ajmal was elected to the Assembly. He polled 62,153 votes, while the Congress and BJP candidates came second and third respectively. The seat fell vacant after Sirajuddin Ajmal was elected to the Lok Sabha.
Meanwhile, the BJP is in an upbeat mood following the election results. BJP legislator Ranjit Das pointed out that none of the seats was held by the party and �now we managed to win one seat and increased our vote share in the other two.� He said the results proved that the BJP would be able to show positive results in the 2016 polls.
Aminul Islam, general secretary of the AIUDF, said the party managed to retain the Jamunamukh constituency by a better margin, while its vote share improved in the other two constituencies. He said that the decline of the Congress continued and it would continue up to the next Assembly polls.
Chairman of the media cell of the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee Dr Haren Das admitted that the results were not shocking for the party as it failed to fare well in the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls. However, he said the bypoll results would not have a major impact on the 2016 polls and said that �people of Assam would not accept the communal politics of BJP and AIUDF for a long time.� At the same time, he admitted that the Congress would have to gear itself up from the grassroots level.
Meanwhile, Arun Dutta Mazumder of the Congress said the verdict given by the people of Silchar was a big experience for him. He was quick to admit that there was a �BJP wave� which was reflected in the results. Asked whether PHE Minister Gautam Roy contributed to his defeat, a dejected looking Dutta Mazumder said it needed to be analysed whether Roy had played any role in the outcome of the results and the party would take care of it. �I had sniffed the probable consequence much before the polls. However, I accept the defeat. The vote ratio depends on the party cadres and how voters perceive the activities of the party and not on any leader,� Dutta Mazumder said, brushing aside allegations that there was any infighting within the Silchar District Congress.
Reacting to his win, Rajdeep Goala of the Congress said the victory was for the people of Lakhipur and he would deliver his best to fulfill their expectations. �I dedicate this win to my late father and to all party members and leaders who have put in efforts for this day. There is no preference. I will work for the people and try to give my best in the limited time. Under the leadership of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, I am sure people will witness development in my constituency,� Rajdeep said.
After winning the Jamunamukh seat, newly elected MLA Abdur Rahim Ajmal of the AIUDF said it was the victory of justice over injustice. He assured the people that he would complete the incomplete works of former MLA Sirajuddin Ajmal. He would work for development of the constituency in all sectors.