MARIANI, March 31 - Congress�s bastion for the last 10 years, Mariani Assembly constituency has recently witnessed considerable progress of NCP as its articulate candidate Alok Kumar Ghosh has been wooing thousands of young voters at various rural and urban pockets in the past few days.
As per the data of Election Commission, 1,04,034 voters are eligible to cast their mandate in the constituency that returned Congress candidate Rupjyoti Kurmi for the last two consecutive terms to the state legislative Assembly.
However, sharing their views with this correspondent today, several new generation voters in Mariani town, Deberapar, Rongkham Basti and many other rural pockets of Mariani constituency said they �seek some changes� through ethical voting in the ensuing poll.
While the urban dwellers of Mariani complained that they remained deprived of adequate health service facilities along with some other basic amenities in the town, the villagers of several bordering hamlets like Rongkham Basti,Naginijan said their repeated appeals for providing drinking water, proper roads and health services were never considered seriously by the Congress government.
�We like Rupjyoti Kurmi for his simplicity and enthusiasm. But his government never paid any heed to our problems in the past 10 years. If the elected representative could not convince his government for providing us required facilities why should we send him again to the legislative Assembly? We need a change,� said an elderly citizen of Mariani, who did not want his name to be published.
The incidents of arson and encroachment by miscreants from Nagaland side and the poor condition of roads and health-care facilities and the lack of drinking water supply in the bordering villages caused disappointment in the minds of around 10,000 voters in the constituency during the past 10 years.
However, in many tea gardens like Kotalguri, Dessoi and its adjacent gardens several voters still prefer Kurmi as their representative. �We need development. We seek Rupjyoti Kurmi again for a term. We like him as he always stood beside us when the workers of tea gardens faced difficult situations during the conflict with Naga miscreants,� said Rajan Guria of Kotalguri Tea Estate.
It is partinent to mention here that tea garden voters have been playing a significant role in Mariani constituency as they occupy more than 40 per cent of total votes here.
But expressing their views with this correspondent, several young voters said that the motivational power of the NCP candidate Alok Kumar Ghosh has already bewitched the minds of thousands of educated young voters in the urban and rural localities including Modhupur, Deberapar, Lahing and even the remotest locations of bordering areas also.
�It is premature to say about the victory. Nobody has directly said as to whom he or she will vote. But the behavioural symptoms of people here seems that they need a change,� said Pabitra Pran Borthakur, president of Mariani unit of AJYCP.
According to those voters, NCP�s Alok Kumar Ghosh and Congress�s Rupjyoti Kurmi are considered main contenders in the poll. BJP�s supporters, however, expect that their candidate Dulen Nayak will also attract a large number of young voters.