Gogoi unchallenged in home turf
Titabor, Asom, Mar 27: There is no campaigning here neither are there any posters. In fact, everyone is so relaxed that it is hard to believe that elections are just a week away in Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi's constituency.
''Where is the need for campaigning? Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has done enough here in the past five years,'' boasts Gogoi's campaign manager Ghana Hazarika.
What he means is Asom's best-known constituency has been gleaming with a series of infrastructure ranging from water supply to public hall which will put to shame all other constituencies.
''You turn your head and if you do not find anything which has not been done by the Chief Minister then I think you have a serious problem,'' notes Mr Hazarika.
He actually has reasons to be so confident. The contest has become so one-sided that hardly a few election offices could be noticed in the constituency. The chief minister, however, had given instructions to his campaign managers that not a single EC guideline be violated.
Titabor has become a model for electioneering. Even flags are made up of conventional cloths, not plastic, and they are put up only in the vacant agricultural land.
''I do not think I need to campaign here. Do I?'' asks Mr Gogoi.
He has made the sprawling Thengal Mansion as his base camp for the next two days when he would try to rescue Rupjyoti Kurmi in the neighbouring Moriani constituency where he is fighting a losing battle against two stalwarts, Palit Bora of BJP and sitting MLA Alak Ghosh.
So dominating is Mr Gogoi's presence that the AGP could not muster enough courage to find a candidate and had to field CPI's Kula Das, a veteran leftist leader. He, though, is no match despite the fact that the CPI has a strong cadre base. AGP(P) candidate Hementa Kalita is a popular figure and a former MLA but he could not match the juggernaut of the chief minister, who has been continuously working for the constituency even after being accused of routing central money meant for development of the constituency.
Campaign contrast is evident at the Jorhat-Titabor border. The Titabor side has a lacklustre electioneering while in Jorhat it has reached a crescendo.
Titabor looks like a chief ministerial constituency with a brand new public library, water supply scheme, market place, newly metaled road and even rest houses. There is hardly anything left in the constituency which has been neglected.