Kokrajhar, April 20, 2019:
The election in the 5-Kokrajhar Lok Sabha Constituency is headed towards a mouth-watering finish as extensive electioneering has been carried out in the Kokrajhar area by the various political parties. The Kokrajhar seat is reserved for Scheduled Tribes.
The Kokrajhar Seat was a Congress bastion in the past. In the first Lok Sabha election held in the Constitutuency held in 1957, Dharanidhor Basumatary from the Congress won the Lok Sabha seat. Basumatary won again in 1962, 1967, and 1971. But the monopoly of the Congress was broken in 1977 when independent candidate Charan Narzary won the election and took charge as MP.
When Sansuma Khunggur Bwiswmuthiary won his first election as an independent candidate in 1998, it started another period of reign as he was able to hang onto the seat after elections in 1999, 2004, and 2009. In 2009, though, he won on a Bodo People’s Front (BPF) ticket.
In the 2014 election, all were left stunned when Naba Kr. Sarania, who was once a feared ULFA Commander, won the election with a massive margin over his closest rival, Urkhao Gwra Brahma (Sarania got 634,428 votes, whereas Brahma got ‘only’ 278,649 votes).
It is worth mentioning that Kokrajhar has elected the most number of independent candidates to the Lok Sabha from Assam – eight.
It is generally believed that Kokrajhar will be one of the most closely fought seats in Assam in this election. Four of the candidates – Pramila Rani Brahma (BPF), Urkhao Gwra Brahma (UPPL), Sabda Rabha (Congress), and independent candidate Naba Sarania – are all considered contenders for the Lok Sabha throne in Kokrajhar.
Sarania is in for a tough fight this time due to an anti-incumbency factor due to his below-par performance as an MP. Moreover, it is unclear whether the huge number of non-Bodos who voted for him last time will cast their votes for him again.
The minority voters will also play an important role in this election. Although the UPPL candidate U G Brahma is being backed by the AIUDF, some minorities are also likely to cast their votes in favour of Sarania, while BTC Chief Hagrama Mohilary has said that Badruddin Ajmal is “actually” with the BPF.
The constituency consists of 17,65,423 number of electorates in total, of which 9,00,318 are males, 8,65,066 are females and 39 belong to the ‘third gender’.
Kokrajhar by the numbers:
Number of polling stations: 2,347
No of voters: 17,65,423
No of female voters: 8,65,066
No of male voters: 9,00,318
No of third gender voters: 39
Bookies’ Choice: Pramila Rani Brahma