Hitendra Nath Goswami (L) and Rana Goswami
JORHAT, March 16: The Jorhat constituency is heading for an interesting poll battle with sitting MLA and Speaker of the Assam Legislative Assembly Hitendra Nath Goswami and AICC secretary and two-time MLA Rana Goswami all set to lock horns.
Jorhat is a prestigious Assembly constituency; it was the last capital of the Ahom kingdom and is a premier tea town in Upper Assam having several important higher education institutes and scientific research organizations.
Hitendra Nath Goswami won three times in a row (1991, 1996 and 2001) as an AGP candidate.
After losing twice as an AGP candidate to Rana Goswami of the Congress in 2006 and 2011, he bounced back to wrest the seat in 2016 on a BJP ticket and is now trying to retain it.
Goswami said that he wishes to carry forward the journey of progress and development initiated in the constituency during the last five years.
The BJP candidate stated that during the Sarbananda Sonowal-led government, there has been no dearth of funds as the Central government has accorded top priority to the northeastern region, due to which a number of big and small projects were undertaken in the last five years – some have been completed and a few are under way.
He mentioned the ongoing rail overbridge project at Na-Ali here, and another such bridge coming up in front of Jorhat Medical College and Hospital at Jail Road, the foundation stone of which was laid in January. Goswami also said a large number of roads have been constructed and are on the verge of completion.
He said there has been partial progress of the ambitious World Bank-aided scheme to provide potable water from the Brahmaputra to households under panchayats spreading over four Assembly constituencies – Jorhat, Dergaon, Teok and Mariani.
On the other side of poll battle is Rana Goswami, an experienced politician who occupied the president’s post in the Jorhat Zila Parishad before he was elected as a legislator in 2006 and 2011. Rana Goswami, who was also a Parliamentary Secretary during the third term of the Tarun Gogoi-led government, is also confident of winning the seat back.
He said “people have felt the difference” between the works done during the Congress and the BJP rules, and added that he has been active in the constituency.
He pointed out that big projects like the establishment of a branch of the National Institute of Design, JMCH, Science Centre and Planetarium, a new bridge over the Bhogdoi river, upgradation of Jorhat Science College to Jorhat Institute of Science and Technology, Assam Women’s University, and the Inter-State Bus Terminus were among the big projects that were undertaken during his tenure.
The setting up of cultural ranga manchas and sports infrastructure development were other highlights of his terms, he mentioned. He further said the scheme to provide drinking water to rural households from the Brahmaputra was sanctioned in 2015 towards the last part of his tenure. Nirod Changkakoti, a former Ward Commissioner of the Jorhat Municipal Board representing the AJP, and Ranjit Baruah (Independent) are other two candidates in the fray.