The electoral battle for Bihpuria LAC in Lakhimpur district has entered into a new equation following the switching of the alliance to Congress by Jimochhaya Peoples Party (JPP), a political party that represents the ethnic Deori community.
The JPP, which has five members in the Deori Autonomous Council, is a major political force among the Deori community in Assam.
In the last DAC polls, the JPP made a post-poll alliance with the BJP in 2017.
“The aggression by BJP, the escalation of price hike, corruption and non-fulfillment of promises has forced us to switch our alliance from them to Congress”, said Mahesh Deori, the president of JPP.
Former Congress MLA Bhupen Kumar Bora said, “It is the right time to unite all the parties and organizations to defeat the BJP in the polls.”
The JPP has 3 out of 5 ZPC seats in the Bihpuria LAC which could swing the voting in favour of the Congress candidate against his rival Amiya Bhuyan of the BJP.
In the 2016 assembly polls, two-time MLA Bhupen Bora lost to BJP’s Debananda Hazarika.
The BJP gave its ticket to Amiya Bhuyan by rejecting the incumbent MLA Debananda Hazarika.
The BJP candidate is also likely to face a stiff challenge from Asom Jatiya Parichad’s Achyut Saikia who may divide the non-Congress voters.
The electoral battle for 111 Lakhimpur LAC has been a straight fight between the AGP and the Congress in the last seven assembly elections. Since the 1985 elections, Utpal Dutta, the founder member of the AGP, has been winning this seat for five terms barring only the 1991 and 2006 assembly polls. The veteran leader is contesting this time as AGP candidate despite the party’s seat sharing with its alliance partner BJP.
The entry of Utpal Dutta into the electoral foray may upset the prospects of BJP in Lakhimpur LAC.
In the 2016 assembly polls Utpal Dutta had defeated Congress candidate Joy Prakash Das.
This time as Congress does not have any such internal feud, Utpal Dutta is going to split the votes of the ruling alliance
“For the last five years I have been active in my constituency and denial of ticket has made my supporters adamant. I am contesting the polls this time”, said Dutta said.
However, Dutta has been facing heavy anti-incumbency this time and was involved in a verbal spate with voters whose video went viral in the social media recently.
For Congress’ Joy Prakash Das, who has been campaigning on ‘Dhuniya Lakhimpur’ (Beautiful Lakhimpur, promising to transform the neglected constituency competent globally, the electoral fight will be against Dutta.
For BJP’s Manab Deka, who promises to make Lakhimpur the second Jalukbari with development, the “Ajmal factor” will be the main challenge.
Meanwhile the static surveillance squads of Lakhimpur district model code of conduct cell in collaboration with the police recovered cash worth Rs 2 lakhs from a vehicle at Charaimoria in North Lakhimpur on Friday.