Assam Assembly Elections 2021, Key Candidates of Assam Elections 2021: For the 47 assembly seats going to polls in phase-I, there are 264 candidates including some big shots and sitting MLAs.
Assam Elections 2021- Key Candidates to Watch Out for This Assam Elections: With campaigning for Phase-I polls coming to an end today in Assam, the focus has shifted to candidates in the fray. For the 47 assembly seats going to polls in phase-I, there are 264 candidates including some big shots and sitting MLAs. There are a total of 8109815 electors who will be deciding the fate of these candidates. With the last day of the campaign today, the BJP has launched an all-out offensive against the opposition parties as senior party leaders like Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Yogi Adityanath, Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah hit the ground today for campaigning. Let’s take a look at key candidates in the Phase-I Assam Elections:
Akhil Gogoi: The jailed anti-CAA activist and chief of Raijor Dal has set the balls rolling after he filed nominations from Sivasagar in Assam. The Sibsagar or Sivasagar Assembly constituency is currently held by Congress. While the BJP is looking to open its account in the constituency, Congress is looking to continue its winning run. The Congress is winning from here continuously for the past four elections. However, the constituency is all set for tough competition with Akhil Gogoi contesting as an Independent candidate. Social activist Medha Patkar and Magsaysay Award winner Sandeep Pandey have also campaigned for Gogoi in the constituency. Sitting Congress MLA Pranab Kumar Gogoi had won from the seat in 2011 and 2016. However, the seat fell vacant after Pranab’s death in February 2020. Akhil Gogoi is facing Congress candidate Subhramitra Gogoi, BJP’s Surabhi Rajkonwari, NCP’s Ajit Hazarika and two other Independent candidates as well. BJP’s Surabhi Rajkonwari was the runner-up in 2016.
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Sarbananda Sonowal: BJP chief minister and senior leader Sarbananda Sonowal is contesting from the Majuli constituency, from where he won the last election. In 2016, when the BJP got a clear majority in the 126 member assembly, then MP from Lakhimpur in Upper Assam and Union Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal was brought in as the CM of the NDA. After five years, it will be a test of Sonowal’s governance and policies in the state. Sonowal is facing senior Congress leader and former Minister of water resources in the Tarun Gogoi government Rajib Lochan Pegu from the constituency. In 2016, Sonowal had defeated the three-time winner by over 18,000 votes.
Ripun Bora: Congress has replaced its losing candidate Monika Bora from Gohpur by fielding Assam Pradesh Congress Committee president Ripun Bora. He is pitched in a direct contest with BJP’s Utpal Bora, who won from the seat in 2016. Interestingly, Monika Bora, wife of Ripun Bora, had defeated Utpal Bora from the very seat in 2011 while she lost in 2016. Gohpur has been a stronghold of Congress for a long time but the defeat in 2016 forced the party to rethink its strategy. The Congress is banking on Ripun Bora’s popularity to regain the seat. Ripun Bora, a two-time MLA and a Rajya Sabha MP from Assam, is believed to be the man behind bringing six parties together to form the grand alliance – Mahajot- in the state. He is also being seen as one of the frontrunners to the Chief Minister’s post if Congress secures a majority in the state.
Lurinjyoti Gogoi: A lesser-known face in national politics but a popular young leader in Assam, Lurinjyoti Gogoi is contesting from two seats – Duliajan and Naharkatia constituencies. Like Akhil Gogoi, Lurinjyoti Gogoi is also the face of anti-CAA protest and has risen to become president of Asom Jatiya Parishad (AJP) from just being a student leader. The 43-year-old leader was the General Secretary of the All Assam Students Union (AASU). He quit from the post in November 2020 and later joined AJP. He is the only son of Prabin Gogoi and Dulu Gogoi. Lurinjyoti Gogoi was born in Morankari Gaon in the Tinsukia district of Assam. He will be facing BJP’s Terosh Gowala and Congress’ Dhruba Gogoi from Duliajan. From Naharkatia, he has been pitched against BJP’s Tarang Gogoi and Congress’ Pranatee Phukan.
Bhaskar Jyoti Baruah: When Congress announced the name of Bhaskar Jyoti Baruah from Titabar, it raised more than a few eyebrows. Titabar is known as Congress bastion and Tarun Gogoi had represented the constituency from 2001 till his death. Many people including Congress leaders worried that why the Congress did not give a ticket to Gaurav Gogoi – Tarun Gogoi’s son, or to Gaurav’s aunt Mitali Gogoi who is the wife of Tarun Gogoi’s brother and former Kaliabor MP Dip Gogoi. It will be interesting to see whether Baruah manages to retain the legacy of Tarun Gogoi. He faces BJP’s Hemanta Kalita, a former MLA.
Atul Bora: AGP president Atul Bora is contesting from the Bokakhat constituency. AGP is an ally of the BJP in Assam. Traditionally a Congress stronghold, Bora was the first non-Congress candidate to win the seat in the 2016 polls by defeating then sitting MLA Arun Phukan of Congress. Atul Bora is facing Pranab Doley of Anchalik Gana Morcha- an ally of Congress, Mridul Saikia of NCP, Reba Kanta Gogoi of AJP and eight independent candidates. Atul Bora is also a product of the students’ movement and had been the general secretary of the influential All Assam Students’ Union (AASU). He was first elected as an MLA from his home constituency Golaghat in 1996.