Kaliabor: CM's son locked in battle for 'crowning'
All eyes will be on Kaliabor constituency in central-eastern Assam where the formal 'crowning' of the 'prince' of state politics is likely to take place as Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi's son Gaurav makes his electoral debut, pitted against AGP's formidable Dr Arun Kumar Sharma on April 7.
Kaliabor has turned into a virtual Tarun Gogoi family bastion with the senior Gogoi winning from the seat first in 1991 and again in 1998 and 1999 and his younger brother, Dip Gogoi, retaining in the seat 2004 and 2009 elections.
The foreign educated 31-year-old Gaurav has not left anything to chance despite the following his family enjoys in the constituency and had been concentrating in these areas for more than a year now.
He has been extensively touring the constituency and holding meetings and rallies in a bid to connect with the voters.
Though the son of the three-time CM, Gaurav's victory is not an implied result on counting day as he faces a tough challenge from Dr Arun Sharma of the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP).
The AGP had won the seat twice in 1985 and 1996 (defeating Tarun Gogoi in 1996) and the party has a sound base in the areas forming the constituency.
Dr Sharma, who had won from Lakhimpur constituency in 1996 and 2004 elections, is seen as a strong opponent to the Congress, particularly with his clean image.
The BJP, which also enjoys sizeable support in the constituency, has fielded Mrinal Kumar Saikia.
The state's main Opposition party, All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), which has its major following among the minority population and Kaliabor has a sizeable minority voters, has refrained from fielding a minority candidate from the constituency.
Instead, it chose a relatively-unknown Bijoy Kumar Tiru as its nominee for the Kaliabor seat, leading to allegations that the AIUDF has entered into a covert understanding with the chief minister to ensure his son's victory.
AIUDF supports the UPA at the Centre.
Altogether 13 candidates are in fray in Kaliabor, including candidates from the Aam Aadmi Party, Trinamool Congress, Forward Bloc and CPI (ML-L).
The constituency has 14,44,692 general voters, of whom 6,98,436 are women, spread across, 1,772 polling stations in 10 Assembly segments.
Majority seven Assembly segments in the constituency are held by the Congress, including two by powerful state ministers.
AIUDF has in its hold two Assembly segments under Kaliabor Lok Sabha constituency and the AGP has one segment.
The constituency goes to the polls in the first phase on April 7.
(Posted on 04-04-2014)