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Raijor Dal hopes to add to Assembly seat tally

A poster of Raijor Dal in the backdrop of Rangghar. The party has exuded confidence in adding to its Assembly seats tally. File. Photo: Special Arrangement
Special Correspondent GUWAHATI: 17 October 2021 13:35 IST
Updated: 17 October 2021 13:35 IST

The BJP says people in Sibsagar constituency ruing electing Akhil Gogoi five months ago

More than a fortnight after a pre-poll alliance with the Congress failed to materialise, the Raijor Dal has exuded confidence about adding to its Assam Assembly seat tally.

The party has its president and former activist Akhil Gogoi as the lone representative in the 126-member House.

Mr. Gogoi had in September asked the State unit of the Congress to support its candidates for two of the five Assembly seats — Mariani and Thowra in eastern Assam — where by-elections are scheduled on October 30. The support was deemed crucial for defeating the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), their “common enemy”.

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The deal did not work out as the Congress offered one seat each to the Raijor Dal and the Assam Jatiya Parishad. The latter’s candidate is expected to contest the Majuli Assembly seat, vacated by Shipping and Ayush Minister Sarbananda Sonowal when the by-election is announced later.

The Raijor Dal has fielded Sanjib Gogoi for the Mariani seat and Dhaijya Konwar for the Thowra seat. Both are contesting as Independents.

The frontrunners in these two seats are believed to be the BJP candidates — Rupjyoti Kurmi (Mariani) and Sushanta Borgohain (Thowra) — both former MLAs who defected from the Congress recently.

“We are confident of winning both the seats,” Mr. Gogoi told journalists while campaigning for his party candidates.

BJP leader and Water Resources Minister Pijush Hazarika trashed the Raijor Dal claim. He said the people of Sibsagar Assembly constituency have started regretting their decision to elect Mr. Gogoi five months ago, and this is likely to reflect on Mariani and Thowra.

“Such is the experience of the people that Akhil Gogoi may change his constituency in the next polls,” Mr Hazarika said.

A total of 31 candidates are contesting the five Assembly seats after five persons withdrew their nomination on October 16. Bhabanipur and Gossaigaon constituencies have the most candidates, eight each, while Mariani has four.

The Congress has fielded candidates in all five constituencies followed by the BJP in three. The BJP’s ally, United People’s Party Liberal, is contesting two seats in the Bodoland Territorial Region.

Among the other political parties, the All India United Democratic Front and Voters Party International are contesting two seats each while the Bodoland People’s Front, Communist Party of India, Gana Suraksha Party, Asom Sangrami Mancha and Road Map Party are contesting a seat each.

Barring the two of Raijor Dal, there are 10 Independents in the fray.

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