Titabar (Jorhat), March 22 (IANS) Exuberance will take on experience in Titabar in Assam where BJP MP Kamakhya Prasad Tasa is pitted against Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi in assembly elections next month.
While the three-time chief minister is seeking a mandate from his home constituency for a fifth consecutive term, his opponent – a Lok Sabha member and a former student leader from the tea tribes – is contesting from here for the first time.
Titabar is in Jorhat district in Upper Assam and has been a Congress stronghold since India’s independence.
But Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) succeeded in making a dent in the Lok Sabha election in 2014 when Tasa defeated Congress veteran and former Lok Sabha MP from Jorhat Bijoy Krishna Handique, who died in July 2015.
Gogoi, who has been winning the Titabar seat since 1997, has an experience of over 50 years in politics and is credited with bringing the Congress to power in 2001, 2006 and 2011.
Tasa led the Assam Tea Tribe Students Association (ATTSA) for several years before joining the BJP in 2004.
The over 45,000 strong tea tribe voters in the constituency are expected to play a decisive role in the electoral battle.
“I am going to the people over issues of lack of development and corruption in the last 15 years. I think the people are in a position to understand the development agenda,” Tasa told IANS.
“I hail from Jorhat and I know what is happening here. People are frustrated by corruption. I am confident that people will vote for me for the sake of development and progress.”
According to Titabar school teacher Rathin Hazarika, development has taken place in the constituency but the pace is slow compared to people’s expectations as it is Gogoi’s constituency.
“The development has impacted only some people. The farmers are still not getting proper irrigation facilities. Interior areas lack basic amenities,” Hazarika added.
Gogoi says people know the ground reality.
“If I have worked for the constituency, people will vote for me. If I have not worked all these years, they will vote for my opponent,” he said in a matter of fact manner.
Gogoi said of Tasa: “He is like my son. I would like it if he defeats me. I give him my blessings.
“Of course, I feel bad that I have not been able to give much time to the constituency due to my responsibility as chief minister. But I hope they would understand,” he said.
A confident Gogoi said he won’t visit Titabar again for campaigning.
“I have gone to Titabar while filing nomination and the support I got from the people is enough to ensure my victory. I may go there before the polls but not necessarily to campaign,” he added.