JORHAT, April 10 - The fate of eight candidates in the fray for the Jorhat Lok Sabha seat will be sealed tomorrow by altogether 14,33,900 voters in the first phase of polls.
The Jorhat parliamentary constituency comprising 10 Assembly seats and spread over Jorhat, Sivasagar and Charaideo districts, has 729239 male and 704661 female voters respectively.
According to election analysts here, the showdown for the seat is likely to be between the BJP and Congress with the saffron party fielding Topon Kumar Gogoi, who is the Assam Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power and a former AASU leader.
Congress has given ticket to Sushanta Borgohain, a youth leader. Topon Gogoi is the incumbent MLA of Sonari, an Assembly segment of the Jorhat Jorhat Lok Sabha constituency while Borgohain, was a Parliamentary Secretary of Home Department in the last Tarun Gogoi-led Government.
Gogoi has replaced the incumbent Jorhat MP Kamakhya Prasad Tasa, who was seen accompanying party leaders during the campaign period.
Borgohain is also a former national NSUI leader and had represented the Thowra Assembly seat from 2011 to 2016, which is also part of the Jorhat Lok Sabha seat. He lost the Thowra constituency in the 2016 Assembly elections.
Both the parties undertook a massive campaign with the BJP trying to retain the seat, earlier believed to be a Congress citadel.
The saffron party wrested the Jorhat Lok Sabha constituency in 2014 from the Congress by defeating veteran leader and former Union Minister Late BK Handique, who had won the constituency for six consecutive terms since 1991.
The BJP had roped in its president Amit Shah to campaign in the constituency, followed by extensive campaigning by the State Finance, Health and Family Welfare and PWD Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Assam unit president of the BJP Ranjeet Dass.
The Congress, on the other hand, had AICC Secretary and former two-time Jorhat legislator Rana Goswami, former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and Mariani MLA Rupjyoti Kurmi among the known party leaders, that spearheaded the campaign.
Kanak Gogoi from CPI, Rajkumar Duwarah from All India Forward Block, Ribulaya Gogoi from All India Trinamool Congress and Kamala Rajkonwar from NPP, two Independent candidates � Arbin Kumar Baruah and Nandita Nag � are also in the fray.
Meanwhile, polling teams, accompanied by security personnel, left for their respective polling stations today. Altogether there are 1753 polling stations in the Jorhat Lok Sabha constituency, out of which 33 polling stations have been designated as critical while 37 have been marked as vulnerable.
The constituency has been divided into 35 zones and 174 sectors for smooth conduct of the polls.