Barpeta Lok Sabha seat, which was once known as the bastion of the Congress party, was snatched by the AIUDF in 2014 general election.
Sitting MP Sirajuddin Ajmal bagged the minority dominated seat defeating his nearest rival Chandra Mohan Patowary of the BJP by a margin of more than 42,000 votes.
Congress, which had won the seat ten times during the period from 1951 to 2009, came a distant third in 2014 polls.
While AIUDF’s Ajmal secured 394,702 votes, BJP candidate Patowary obtained 352,361 votes in the constituency in 2014 polls.
Congress, which finished a poor third, got 277,802 votes in the constituency, which was represented by late Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed as Congress MP for two consecutive terms in 1967 and 1971 before he became the President of India in 1974.
AGP, which fielded Phani Bhusan Choudhury in the constituency, finished fourth among leading parties getting only 73,733 votes.
While AGP managed to win only once in 1985 BJP has never won from this constituency but has come as runner-up three times in 1998, 1999 and 2014.
CPI-M won the seats for two consecutive terms. Veteran CPI-M leader Udhab Barman, who is highly respected in the constituency for his modest lifestyle and clean image, won the seat in 1991 and 1996.
The constituency will cast its vote on April 23. It covers 10 assembly segments – Bongaigaon, Abhayapuri North, Abhayapuri South, Patacharkuchi, Barpeta, Jania, Baghbar, Sarukhetri, Chenga and Dharampur.
The constituency is spread across Baksa, Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Chirang, Goalpara and Nalbari districts.
Sitting MP Sirajuddin, brother of AIUDF chief and perfume baron Badaruddin Ajmal is unlikely to contest this time as he has been unwell for some time. The BJP has decided to leave the seat for its ally AGP.
According to party sources, while Congress has discussed Sankar Prasad Rai and MLA Abdur Rahim Khan’s names for the seat, regional AGP is likely to field Kumar Deepak Das.
As per the estimates of 2011 census, out of total 2400129 population 90.37% is rural and 9.63% is urban population. The Scheduled castes (SC) and Scheduled tribes (ST) ratio is 7.71 and 2.91, respectively out of total population.
Barpeta constituency: At a glance
Number of voters in 2014: 14, 30,188
Number of polling booths in 2014: 1906
Number of women voters in 2014: 674, 616
Percentage of votes polled in 2014: 84.32