ANI Photo | Three-way fight in Assam’s Nagaon and Karimganj seats as BJP, Congress and AIUDF battle it out

Heading to the polls on April 26 in the second phase, the Lok Sabha constituencies of Nagaon and Karimganj in Assam are poised for a tight and predominantly triangular contest among the BJP, Congress, and AIUDF.

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, leading the BJP’s campaign in the state, has acknowledged that these two seats are challenging but expressed confidence in securing victories in both.

Nagaon and Karimganj, situated in central and south Assam respectively, boast a significant population of Muslim voters, particularly Bengali-speaking, who are inclined towards Congress or AIUDF.

Karimganj, located in the Barak Valley, is a Bengali-dominated region, while Nagaon lies in the Brahmaputra Valley.

Currently, Nagaon is held by Congress and Karimganj by BJP. In 2014, Nagaon was won by the BJP and Karimganj by Badaruddin Ajmal’s AIUDF.

In Nagaon, BJP has nominated Suresh Bora, a former Congress member who recently joined the party, hoping to draw Congress supporters towards their side. Congress, meanwhile, has fielded its incumbent MP Pradyut Bordoloi.

During his campaign in Nagaon, Bordoloi emphasized the increasing economic disparity under the BJP’s rule, alleging that the party aims to amend the Indian Constitution’s foundational principles, including secularism.

In Karimganj, the BJP’s candidate is incumbent MP Kripanath Mallah, who previously served in the Assam Legislative Assembly. In the upcoming elections, Mallah will face competition from AIUDF leader Sahabul Islam Choudhury and Congress candidate Advocate Hafeez Rashid Ahmed Choudhury.

Despite challenges posed by significant minority voter demographics, the BJP hopes to benefit from a split in minority votes between Congress and AIUDF.

Assam’s CM has underscored the equal distribution of government schemes and benefits across all communities during his campaign, particularly addressing concerns of the Muslim population.

Amidst election fervour, cultural elements such as Bihu festivities have been incorporated into campaign strategies, with parties using music and dance to connect with voters.

In the broader context of the Lok Sabha elections in Assam, the BJP aims to secure a significant number of seats to contribute towards its target of 400 seats nationally.

Polling for 14 seats in Assam is divided into three phases. Following the first phase on April 19, where BJP seems to have an advantage in five constituencies, attention now turns to the remaining seats, including Nagaon and Karimganj.

With the BJP contesting 11 out of 14 seats in Assam and its allies contesting the remainder, including Trinamool Congress making an entry into the state’s electoral scene, the battleground is set for a fierce electoral competition.

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