After a long wait, BJP’s first list of candidates for Lok Sabha polls is out, and the list includes names of candidates for eight Lok Sabha constituencies of Assam. Two sitting MPs and a new face have been nominated this time, with the BJP looking forward to retain some of the seats.
Celebrations broke out in the residence of former Mayor of Guwahati Municipal Corporation Queen Ojha, who is the BJP candidate from Guwahati constituency. Women members of the BJP gathered around Ozha to congratulate her.
“I am extremely happy, but this happiness comes with a lot of responsibility. I am overwhelmed by the support of party members and well-wishers. I am confident of winning. When I was the Mayor here, people had welcomed me with open arms and have since kept faith in my work,” said Ojha who replaces former union minister Bijoya Chakraborty, who has represented Guwahati seat thrice since 1999.
The Guwahati seat is considered one of the state’s toughest battleground with its diverse voter base. Former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi earlier said that his party will win at least 10 seats including Guwahati. The two sitting MPs – Dibrugarh MP Rameshwar Teli and Lakhimpur MP Pradan Baruah have been re-nominated by the party from their respective constituencies.
“I was certain I would be chosen again, and I thank the party for nominating me. Last time, I won by a margin of 1.85 lakh votes. I had the support of 13 lakh voters of Dibrugarh, and I am sure they will vote for me for the second time. We have introduced a lot of schemes for the tea tribes community,” said a confident Teli who will be filing his nomination on Friday.
According to the 2011 census, the tea tribes constitute 34.26 percent of Dibrugarh’s population. The BJP has nominated a general secretary of its Assam unit, Dilip Saikia in place of Mangaldoi MP Ramen Deka from the constituency. Congratulated by party members with floral garlands, Dilip Saikia, a new face in the list of candidates shared his opinion on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, stating that his party supports the Bill to protect Assam from illegal immigrants.
“The Citizenship Bill is not a political issue. It is a matter of securing the identity of every indigenous Assamese and every Indian. Congress has politicized the issue. The bill will safeguard the social, economic, cultural, political and constitutional rights of the people,” said Saikia.On the other hand, Rajdeep Roy, who has been nominated from Silchar said that people should understand Congress’ game plan over the Citizenship Bill.
“We have maintained our stand on CAB – what we said in Delhi is also what we reiterated in Assam,” said Roy who is pitted against All India Mahila Congress president and Silchar MP Sushmita Dev.
Deputy speaker, Kripanath Malla, who will fight from Karimganj maintains that chances of victory in his constituency is higher for the BJP this time compared to previous years. "Since the past 3 months, I have been in my constituency and working really hard. People have ensured all support and I am sure of winning from Karimganj."Meanwhile, Assam minister Tapan Gogoi replaces sitting MP Kamakhya Prasad Tasa from Jorhat. Horensing Bey from Diphu Autonomous District constituency also finds his name in the first list.