Guwahati Lok Sabha Seat: Battle Royal Between Two Women Candidates - Eastern Mirror
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Guwahati Lok Sabha seat: Battle royal between two women candidates

By PTI Updated: May 05, 2024 12:21 pm

GUWAHATI — A battle royal is raging between two women contestants of the BJP and Congress on diverse issues such as drinking water problem, unemployment and floods faced by people in Assam’s most prestigious Guwahati Parliamentary constituency where polls are scheduled on May 7.

BJP’s Bijuli Kalita Medhi and Congress candidate Mira Borthakur Goswami are locked in a direct contest with both making a debut in Lok Sabha polls and leaving no stone unturned to woo the over 20 lakh voters, with women marginally outnumbering men.

The Congress candidate is reaching out to the electorate in the nooks and corners of the constituency, comprising both urban and rural areas in the hills and plains, with promises of solving their immediate and long-standing problems while the BJP nominee is relying mainly on the strength of her party’s achievement during the last ten years of rule at the Centre and eight in the state.

The seat, with eight candidates in the fray, has been represented consecutively by BJP women candidates since 2009 with veteran leader Bijoya Chakravorty, representing the constituency thrice in 1999, 2009 and 2014.

The BJP denied ticket to sitting party MP Queen Ojah and gave it to Medhi who is a party state vice president and a former head of the party’s women’s wing.

Notwithstanding the saffron party’s grip on the constituency, the Congress candidate, a former BJP veteran who joined the Congress during the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protest, is making inroads into the ruling party’s bastions which comprises an electorate of varied hues of different tribes and communities.

Guwahati constituency is huge with problems of the people in the rural areas being very different from those in the urban areas but “I am committed to solve the problems of all if I am elected to Parliament”, the 51-year Goswami told PTI.

“The BJP candidate in this election is asking people to make her the MP so that Modiji can become the prime minister for the third successive term and not for what she can do for the people. Besides, she said there is no problem in Guwahati constituency and if the candidate cannot see the problem then how will she solve it”, she added.

Medhi, on the other hand, argues that no other government before the BJP had taken the initiative to develop not only the constituency but the entire region and the North East.

“People in my constituency are very happy with the development policies of the BJP and they want Narendra Modi as the prime minister for the third consecutive term. I am sure of winning the seat by a huge margin”, the 45-year-old candidate asserted.

Guwahati is considered the gateway to both North East India and South East Asia but there has not been much development barring flyovers and a few hotels, Goswami claimed.

“If there is rainfall for an hour there is artificial floods in almost the entire city and there is a need for a scientific solution to this problem which the BJP has failed to do so far”, she said.

The double engine government has failed to solve the problem of drinking water, youth are faced with unemployment, women are facing the impact of price rise, people, particularly, in the hill areas are complaining that they have not got the land pattas, the state government planning to close down 11,442 schools, Anganwadi, ASHA workers, those with middle and low income businesses are all unhappy with the BJP, she claimed.

Medhi claimed that the BJP enjoys overwhelming support of the people in the urban areas while this time the electorate in the rural areas are also very happy as they have benefitted immensely from the various schemes initiated by the BJP governments, both at the Centre and in the state.

The BJP candidate, also a former deputy mayor of Guwahati City, said that she is “very much aware of the problems of the city and the state government has taken several steps to resolve these.”

Medhi asserted that the women electorate, particularly, will come out in large numbers to vote for the BJP due to the many schemes initiated by the governments for their benefit.

Goswami, who is also the President of the Assam Pradesh Mahila Congress, alleged that the ruling BJP knows only how to buy votes and they are using women as vote bank.

”The BJP government has instilled fear in women that if they do not vote for BJP or attend election meetings then their names will be deleted from the schemes,” she alleged.

Women, on one hand, are running after the INR1,250 being doled out to them under the ‘Orunodoi’ scheme while on the other they are facing the impact of price rise and finding it extremely difficult to make ends meet, Goswami claimed.

The constituency having ten assembly segments, with some realigned and renamed during the delimitation exercise last year, is nestled along the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra and its tributaries and surrounded by hills and has diverse people with Hindus dominating while there is a sizeable over 30 per cent Muslim population, along with Bodos, Karbis and Rabha tribes living in different pockets.

Also read: LS polls: 2nd phase has been spectacular for BJP, says Assam CM

By PTI Updated: May 05, 2024 12:21:29 pm
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