The battle for the Jorhat Lok Sabha seat is shaping up to be a showdown between two prominent figures from the Ahom community: the incumbent MP Tapon Gogoi of the BJP and Gaurav Gogoi, son of former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.

gogoi jorhat
Gaurav Gogoi | Tapon Gogoi

With the Ahom electorate comprising approximately 33% of the total 17 lakh voters in the Jorhat parliamentary constituency, their influence could prove decisive. Tapon Gogoi, a former AASU (All Assam Students’ Union) general secretary, wields considerable sway in his constituency.

Meanwhile, Gaurav Gogoi, a two-time MP from Kaliabor who has now shifted his focus to Jorhat, aims to leverage his family connections and the goodwill garnered by his father among the electorate.

Expressing his views on Assam’s political landscape, Gaurav Gogoi sees the contest as a clash between two factions within the Congress. He explains that the original BJP leaders and genuine AGP leaders, along with grassroots workers, are being sidelined. He adds that the growing power of the BJP is largely due to former Congress members. Hence, the real fight is between Congress A, which is dedicated to party ideology and serving the people of Assam, and Congress B, which is more concerned about personal wealth accumulation within the BJP.

In contrast, Tapon Gogoi expresses confidence in the developmental initiatives of Prime Minister Modi and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. He emphasizes the role of MPs in demanding projects from the central government, with execution handled by the state government, and is confident of winning the upcoming election by a significant margin of votes.

Regarding Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma’s exit from Congress, Gaurav Gogoi attributes it to external pressures such as corruption allegations. He criticizes what he perceives as a cleansing effect of joining the BJP, wherein legal issues are conveniently resolved. Gaurav compared Sarma’s situation to ‘washing powder Nirma’, suggesting that Sarma’s shift to BJP has effectively ‘cleansed’ him of his alleged involvement in these scams. Gaurav revealed that while Sarma was a part of Congress, he faced a CBI raid and summons, but post his association with BJP, all cases against him were dismissed. Gaurav further accuses the BJP of this tactic, claiming that any income tax raids cease the moment one becomes a part of the party.

Tapon Gogoi dismisses the notion of an opposition alliance and exudes confidence in securing victory with a significant margin.

In essence, the battle for the Jorhat Lok Sabha seat has boiled down to a head-to-head contest between the Gogois, with the Ahom and tea garden voters likely to play a pivotal role in determining the outcome.

Assam’s Electoral Landscape
Assam has 14 Lok Sabha constituencies, with 11 seats being unreserved, two reserved for Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidates, and one reserved for Scheduled Caste (SC) candidates.

The 2024 Lok Sabha elections in Assam will be conducted in three phases. The first phase of polling will be held on April 19, followed by April 26 and May 7.

According to the 2011 census, Assam’s population exceeds 3.11 crore, with Muslims comprising 34.2% of the population. There are 2.19 crore voters in Assam, including 1.12 crore male voters, 1.07 crore female voters, and 491 third-gender voters.

In the 2014 elections, the BJP secured seven out of the 14 Lok Sabha seats, while the Congress and the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) each won three seats, and one seat went to an Independent candidate.

In the 2019 elections, the BJP had contested in 10 seats, AGP in three, and Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) in one. The BJP won nine seats. BJP dumped BPF in 2020 and started a new partnership with UPPL.

Recently, the BJP announced that it will contest 11 of the 14 seats in Assam in the coming Lok Sabha election and share two of the remaining three seats with ally Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and the third one with United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL).

MTNews Desk

(With inputs from India Today NE and ToI)

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