Assam: Arson in Dibrugarh on the eve of polls, first round of polls today

On the night of April 18. A day before the first phase Parliamentary election, 2024, house arsons by miscreants in the dark of night! This electoral violence took place in Assam's Dibrugarh Lok Sabha constituency raising questions of the conduct of a free and fair election.
Image: Northeast Now

The residence of Aditya Gogoi, President of the Kuorigaon Regional Comittee of Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) and the houses of other four party workers namely were attacked late night yesterday, the night before polling was scheduled. Dibrugarh, Kaziranga, Sonitpur, Lakhimpur and Jorhat go to the polls today.

“Miscreamts” also set fire to the houses of Mr. Pawan Bora, Prabin Gogoi and Yadav Bora from same political party were set on fire by miscreants last night around 11 pm.

In his Facebook post Lurin Jyoti Gogoi who is Central president of Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) and the Candidate of Dibrugarh Parliamentary Constituency of INDIA alliance responded “Lurin Jyoti Gogoi responded to the Facebook post, “I condemn this cowardice, and demand that the perpetrators be arrested and brought to justice soon.”

He added, “I tell every worker and supporter of the Assam Jatiya Parishad, such atrocities will continue against us But no one can break our morale We are fighting for the survival and restoration of the dignity for the community. Unable to withstand democratic competition with us, the anti-democratic evil forces have resorted to such misdeeds to break the morale of our workers. But they cannot succeed they can’t dissuade us we will break down thousands of such barriers and move towards achieving our goals.”

First phase polls in Assam:

On April 19 the first phase polls has in Assam for five (5) parliamentary constituency – Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Kaziranga, Sonitpur and Lakkhimpur.

In the 10,001 polling booths of these five constituencies, there are total 86, 47,869 voters decide the fate of thirty five (35) candidates. Out of this total number of voters there are 42,82,887 male, 43,64,859 female and 123 third gender voters.

Two high profile leaders at the national level also contesting in the first phase. One is Gaurav Gogoi, the Deputy leader of the opposition party and firebrand vocal parliament who has filled nomination from Jorhat parliamentary constituency and is locked in contest with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s sitting MP and former All Assam Students Union( AASU) leader Tapan Gogoi.

The present Union Minister, former AASU president and former chief minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal from the Dibrugarh parliamentary constituency is pitted against another former AASU leader, present president of Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP). For the INDIA alliance is the candidate from the United Opposition Forum Assam candidate Lurin Jyoti Goigoi. Another candidate in the fray is the  Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s candidate  Manoj Dhanowar, who has been widely campaigning in the Tea Garden areas.

In Sonitpur, Kajiranga and Lakhimpur, the contest is likely to boil down to one between the Congress versus the BJP. Interestingly in the Kaziranga Parliamentary Constituency, both the BJP and Congress have fielded candidates from tea workers community. The Congress candidate is MLA and women leader Roselina Tirkey while the BJP has fielded its Rajay Sabha Member of Parliament (MP), Kamkhya Prasad Tasa.

The last few days have seen a volatile and high profile election campaign. Priyanka Gandhi, Narendra Modi and Mamata Banerjee have all campaigned for their candidates for the first round of polls today.

On Tuesday, April 17, Priyanka Gandhi came to Assam and did a roadshow in Sivasagar at Titabor area for Gaurav Gogoi. Despite the bad weather Ms Gandhi interacted with enthusiastic people and deliver the message of Nyay Patha. She spoke of the “Five Justice Promises (Nyay) that the Congress manifesto talks about. It is notable that her speeches concentrated on development, unemployment, price hike and social justice.

Prime Minister Modi who also did a roadshow through the GS Road of Guwahati city in Assam. He was accompanied by Assam chief minister, Himanta Biswas Sarma and other leaders of BJP Assam. The roadshow sparked controversy among the netizens in comparison to the Rahul Gandhi’s Nyay Yatra. It may be recalled that when Rahul Gandhi wanted to walk in the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra which started from Manipur and ended in Mumbai, his original plan was to pass through the city of Guwahati. However, Assam CM and DSP of Assam denied him the permission citing the traffic (sic). Sarma went as far as to “warn” Rahul Gandhi and his team they would face legal action if the Yatra passes through the city. The same CM could be seen with the Prime Minister last Tuesday on the GS Road which happens to be the busiest in the city of Guwahati. Many roads were blocked and barricades where put in several points cause huge difficulties for daily commuters.

This selective governance was the matter of much speculation, especially as Modi claims “India is the mother of democracy”.

Meanwhile, several democratic organisations and intellectuals, advocates, have in these Lok Sabha polls urged that all Assamese people votes for the INDIA alliance.

Today the focus in Assam is on the Jorhat Constituency because of Gaurav. Gaurav whose is seen as the rising star from the North East region. Though results will determine the outcome, the sentiment runs high that the victory of Gaurav Gogoi means a victory for Assam.

Meanwhile,in Dibrugarh, the battle is between  Sarbananda Sonowal of the BJP and the rest.  Despite the use of money and muscle power by the regime, independent calls have been made for voting against Sonowal on the question of ‘Save Constitution and Democracy.” Democratic-mined people have appealed to voters to cast their valuable votes against the CAA 2019 and allegedly “corrupt BJP.” In some areas of the Dibrugarh Lok Sabha constituency, the CPIM (L) held a large rally in support of Lurin Jyoti Gogoi which has added another dimension.

Link of CPIM(L) ‘s rally.


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