BeyondHeadlines Staff Reporter
Karimganj (Assam): Muslim votes are expected to be a deciding factor in at least four of the five assembly constituencies in south Assam’s sensitive Karimganj District, bordering Bangladesh, which goes to poll on April 4 in the first phase.
As many as 62 percent of the 1,41,941 strong electorate in South Karimganj Assembly seat are Muslims, and their votes will determine the outcome of the election, poll experts say. The constituency will witness a triangular contest between Sidiq Ahmed, sitting Congress party legilature and parliamentary secretary; Sipra Gun, Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) nominee and vice president of All-India Yuva Morcha; and Iqbal Hussain of the Trinamool Congress (TMC).
Although Gun is virtually out of the race, Hussain, a dissident Congressman, is expected to give a stiff fight to Ahmed as he is regarded a strong contender by virtue of being a close confidant of minister Gautam Roy. Hussain, after being denied a Congress party ticket, joined the TMC, and local people say that he has got a bright chance of winning.
Hussain said, “I have nurtured my constituency like a mother does her child in the last five years, and I am very optimistic.” In neighbouring Badarpur constituency, as many as 58 percent of the 1,28,650 electorate belong to the Muslim community, and the race will be confined to the Congress party, All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) and BJP nominees.
Jamaluddin of the Congress party is pitted against AIUDF’s Halauddin Choudhury and BJP’s Biswarup Bhattacharjee (BJP). Sitting Congress party legislature is Anwarul Haque, and although he sought re-nomination, the party decided to shift him to Borkhola constituency of neighbouring Cachar District much to his dismay.
Promising not to harm the prospects of the Congress candidate, Haque claimed he had bright chances of sweeping the poll. In the North Karimganj constituency, there are 48 percent Muslims among 1,57,152 voters.