Lok Sabha battle: BJP’s Sarbananda Sonowal eyes victory in Dibrugarh as Assam heads to polls in first phase


As the vibrant Bihu festival lights up the spirit of Assam, the buzz of electoral politics resonates just as strongly through the streets of Dibrugarh.

This key parliamentary seat is grabbing headlines as it prepares for the polls on April 19, part of the first phase of elections in the state.

Dibrugarh is especially under the spotlight with Sarbananda Sonowal, the BJP’s high-profile candidate and Union Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, throwing his hat into the ring.

Speaking to the media during his hectic campaign trail, the senior BJP leader said, “I am blessed to be given the opportunity by the party to contest as the BJP candidate for the prestigious Dibrugarh constituency. I convey my sincere thanks to the party leadership–Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Party President JP Nadda, and Home Minister Amit Shah–for their faith in me.”

“Given the good work done by the Narendra Modi government for the people of Assam, especially for those in the Dibrugarh Lok Sabha constituency since 2014, I am very confident that people will repose their faith in the leadership of Modi ji as we move ahead towards becoming a Viksit Bharat,” the BJP candidate and Rajya Sabha MP said.

The BJP, which first came to power in the state in 2016 with Sonowal as the Chief Minister, has been exuding confidence as its main rival, Congress, leads an alliance of opposition parties, including Asom Jatiyo Parishad (AJP).

Although Congress is the main opposition in the state, the party decided not to contest its once stronghold, handing it over to its alliance partner, AJP.

“Wherever I go campaigning for the BJP, I am accorded immense love and adulation from the people, who have deep faith in the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji. It is this pure admiration of the people for Modi ji’s leadership that gives me confidence that the BJP-led NDA will win 12 plus seats in Assam, 22 plus seats in the Northeast, and 400 plus seats in the country. To most voters, it is a foregone conclusion that Narendra Modi will become the Prime Minister for the third consecutive term,” Sonowal said.

The Dibrugarh Lok Sabha constituency is all set to witness a triangular fight, between Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Manoj Dhanowar. However, the main contest is seen between the BJP’s Sarbanda Sonowal and Lurinjyoti Gogoi of the Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP).

Both Gogoi and Sonowal are former leaders of the All Assam Students Union (AASU). Gogoi’s name came into prominence during the anti-CAA protests in Assam in 2019.
With more than 1.6 million voters, the Dibrugarh Lok Sabha seat covers two administrative districts, including Dibrugarh and Tinsukia. It comprises ten Legislative Assembly constituencies: Margherita, Digboi, Makum, Tinsukia, Chabua, Lahowal, Dibrugarh, Khowang, Duliajan, Tingkhong, and Naharkatia.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP’s Rameswar Teli won with 659,583 votes, defeating the Congress’ Paban Singh Ghatowar by a margin of 364,566 votes.

Assam has 14 Lok Sabha seats where the BJP is contesting 11 seats, while its ally, the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), is contesting in two seats, Barpeta and Dhubri, and the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) is contesting on the Kokrajhar seat.

The Congress, as the main opposition party in the state, is contesting from 12 seats but is supporting their ally AJP in Dibrugarh. AAP, which is a relatively new party in the state, is contesting the Sonitpur and Dibrugarh seats.

The election for the 14 seats in Assam is scheduled to be held over three phases.

The first phase includes five constituencies from Upper Assam: Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Lakhimpur, Kaziranga, and Sonitpur. Except for Dibrugarh, the BJP is in direct contest with the Congress.
The second phase on April 26 will cover the Lok Sabha constituencies of Karimganj, Silchar, Diphu, Darrang-Udalguri, and Nagaon, while the third phase will include Guwahati, Barpeta, Kokrajhar, and Dhubri seats.

(Inputs from ANI)