Jorhat, the twelfth Constituency in Assam, is one of the key battlegrounds for the ensuing Lok Sabha elections in Assam. Home to a diverse group of people, the Upper Assam Constituency has been historically known as a Congress stronghold.
A tale of two Communities:
The tale of Jorhat has always been written by two communities: the tea tribes and Ahoms. And up until the 2014 elections, both communities heavily favored the Congress party. This was evidenced by the election of Congress' Ahom candidate, Bijoy Krishna Handique, six consecutive times. But the death of Handique in 2015 left a chasm in the Congress leadership in the region which the BJP party capitalized on.
Riding on the backs of a 'Modi wave', the saffron party were able to woo the tea tribes by fielding a tea tribe candidate, Kamakhya Prasad Tasa.
Ahom vs Ahom:
This year, though, Tasa has been dropped by the BJP and they have chosen to go with an Ahom candidate, Topon Kumar Gogoi. Gogoi, an MLA from Sonari Constituency, is the current Power Minister of Assam. He will go toe-to-toe with the Congress' firebrand leader Sushanta Borgohain, the current MLA from Thowra Assembly Constituency.
Political experts are saying that since both candidates belong to the demographically strong Ahom community, it is hard to predict which way the votes will swing.
It is widely believed that by pitting two Ahom candidates against each other, the two biggest national parties risk an unheralded candidate sneaking his way past the two heavyweights. In fact, many of the other candidates are also Ahoms and thus, it is believed that the Ahom candidates might cannibalize each others' vote share and a virtual unknown might win the throne.
The other candidates who have filed their nominations are:
Nandita Nag (I), Arbin Kumar Baruah (I), Ribulaya Gogoi (All India Trinamool Congress), Kamala Rajkonwar (NPP), Rajkumar Duwarah (All India Forward Block) and Kanak Gogoi (CPI).
The Numbers Game:
The total number of voters who will cast their votes In Jorhat Constituency:
Male Voters: 729,239
Female Voters: 704,661
Total Voters: 1,433,900
List of Assembly Constituencies under Jorhat Constituency: Jorhat, Titabar, Mariani, Teok, Amguri, Nazira, Mahmara, Sonari, Thowra Sibsagar.
Bookies' favorite: Sushanta Borgohain.
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