GUWAHATI, April 5 � While the Congress has claimed that it would win record number of seats from Nagaon district in the Assembly polls this time, the Opposition camp counters this assertion as misleading and avers a Congress whitewash instead. The Opposition camp is by and large depending on the people�s desire for a change.
Forest Minister Rokybul Hussain, a Congress stalwart, told this newspaper that his party would be able to get record number of its nominees returned to the State Assembly this time. For, the people are going to reward the Congress for its good work, said the Minister.
The Opposition camp is almost unanimous in its claim that this time Minister Rokybul Hussain is sure to bite the dust in Samaguri. AGP bigwig and former Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta is sure to win from this Legislative Assembly Constituency (LAC).
But the Opposition camp is divided on the issue of Nagaon LAC. Each of the Opposition parties � Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)�claim that it will win the LAC.
Nagaon district has 11 LACs. According to Rokybul Hussain, of these constituencies, the Congress is locking horns with the AIUDF in Dhing, Rupahihat, Jamunamukh and Raha (SC).
The ruling party is engaged in an electoral battle with the AGP in Kaliabor, Samaguri, Barhampur and Nagaon, while its main contest will be with the BJP for the Hojai and Lumding LACs, Hussain said.
He claimed that Prafulla Kumar Mahanta would face defeat in both the Barhampur and Samaguri LACs. Barhampur has become Mahanta�s bastion for the past several terms, while an anti-incumbency wave has made him contest this time from the Samaguri LAC, which is regarded to be the stronghold of Rokybul Hussain.
Mahanta, however, maintained that results of the elections would speak for themselves. The people of the State are for a change this time and the AGP would be able to lead the march of the people towards that goal, he said emphatically.
The prevailing condition in the district is favouring both the AGP and the AIUDF. While the AGP has the winning prospect in all but two constituencies, the AIUDF has the prospect to win in the Jamunamukh LAC and the BJP also has the prospect to win a constituency, he said. He however, refrained from naming this LAC.
According to BJP Lok Sabha MP Rajen Gohain, banking on the popular grievances generated by the Congress� �misrule,� �corruption� and �spiraling rise in the prices of essential items,� the BJP is now witnessing fast expansion of its support base in Hojai, Raha, Batadraba and Kaliabor.
The voters of Lumding returned the BJP candidate Sushil Dutta last time and this time too, the LAC named after the Lumding Railway town, is considered to be the invincible citadel of the saffron party, the BJP MP said.
BJP�s winning prospect in the Nagaon LAC is bright even though it is engaged in a four-cornered contest involvin, AGP, Congress and the AIUDF. Going by its growing popularity, BJP is likely to emerge as a contending force in Bahrampur LAC too, within the next two to three days, the BJP leader said. .
Though he was candid in his admission that his party has no footing in Rupahihat and Jamunaukh, the BJP MP maintained that �polarization� of the Hindu votes may spring a surprise in Lahorighat LAC.
AIUDF Nagaon district committee general secretary (administration) Champak Kalita told this newspaper that his party would win the Lumding, Batadraba, Rupahihat and Nagaon LACs this time, retaining the Hojai, Jamunamukh, Raha and Dhing LACs.
Kalita is of the view that Prafulla Kumar Mahanta is sure to retain his Barhampur LAC, while his party colleague Keshav Mahanta is sure to retain the Kaliabor LAC.
On the factors helping his party, Kalita said that people of the district have become resentful over the rampant corruption of the Congress, its posing threats to democracy etc.