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In run up to poll, Congress busy handling kin contests

Son versus father, wife versus husband, nephew versus aunt, brother-in-law taking on sister-in-law… Rahul Karmakar reports.

india Updated: Mar 04, 2011 00:20 IST
Rahul Karmakar
Rahul Karmakar
Hindustan Times

Son versus father, wife versus husband, nephew versus aunt, brother-in-law taking on sister-in-law…

A ‘kin contest’ is keeping the ruling Congress busy ahead of the polls in Assam. Take the case of revenue minister Bhumidhar Barman. His son Diganta Barman wants to replace him as the Congress candidate for the Barkhetri seat. Barman senior, though, has negated a ‘cold war’ with his son.

Excise minister Gautam Roy, representing the Katlicherra seat, is at odds with his son legislator son Rahul Roy (MLA from Algapur constituency) over the choice of Congress candidates for 15 seats across southern Assam’s Barak Valley.

Former union minister Santosh Mohan Dev wants the youngest of his three daughters, Sushmita, to replace wife Bithika as the Congress candidate for the Silchar seat.

Former CM Hiteswar Saikia’s widow Hemoprova Saikia has no qualms about giving way to son Debabrata for contesting the Nazira seat that she lost in 2006. But her brother-in-law Tankeswar Saikia has allegedly been a spoke in the wheel.

Brothers-in-law Kamaleswar and Nabin Neog are likewise a thorn in the flesh for PWD minister Ajanta Neog who represents Golaghat. The two have joined the Trinamool Congress taking domestic differences to the poll arena. For Dhemaji legislator Sumitra Patir, challenge is more from sister-in-law Shivani Doley. Both are vying for a Congress ticket for the seat.

Then there’s Uttara Kalita, MLA from Kamalpur seat. Her nephew Diganta Kalita doesn’t want her re-elected.

“This happens with the most popular party in any state,” is all CM Tarun Gogoi has to say.