Majuli: Majuli, the largest river island in the world and one of the most talked-about assembly constituencies in Assam which elected the current chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, is rooting for its legislator ahead of the state elections.
Majuli is the first island in India that has been made a district.
Interestingly, Sonowal himself is a resident of Dibrugarh but has been contesting election from Majuli. However, the people of the island are happy that their legislator leads the state.
Every nook and cranny of Majuli is festooned with posters of Sonowal.
The LED vans showcasing documentaries and video messages of the chief minister are roaming across the island.
There has been a positive wave observed for Sonowal in the island as most of the voters to whom ANI has spoken, appreciated the work done by the chief minister.
“In the last five years, there has been a drastic change. Now, you can at least walk on the roads earlier the condition was worst. Apart from transport, everything is good here,” Ranjan Mahant, a local resident told ANI.
Another local Pankaj Kanikar said, “We are very happy with our MLA. He has done tremendous work not just here but in the entire Assam. We will again have him as the chief minister.”
Asked on how Sonowal has not been declared as the chief ministerial candidate yet, Kanikar said, “He is acceptable by the whole of Assam so he will be the chief minister again. There is no doubt about that.”
Jayant Bhagwati, who is a native of Majuli but lives abroad told ANI, “Earlier there was no development. The condition was very bad. Though we live abroad, we come to our homeland once a year. Earlier, it was painful to come here due to the lack of basic amenities. Sonowal has come like a god for this area. He has worked a lot and the BJP should have announced him as the chief minister candidate.”
Pranami Bhagwati said, “Whatever Sarbananda ji had promised, he tried to fulfil. The only problem here is transport and communication from Jorhat. He promised that the problem will be solved in two-three years. Not just Majuli residents, every Assamese want Sonowal as the next chief minister.”
According to locals, it will be an easy win for Sonowal against Rajib Lochan Pegu, whom the Congress has fielded from the Majuli assembly seat.
Notably, Pegu represented the seat till Sonowal defeated him with a margin of around 19000 votes in the 2016 assembly polls.
According to Assam Bharatiya Janata Party chief Ranjeet Kumar Dass, there is no competition in the seat as Sonowal’s victory is confirmed.
Speaking to ANI, Dass said, “We have seen Sonowal working here. This area was neglected for the last seventy years. The island is very beautiful. Congress did nothing for the island and only made false promises.”
On connectivity issue, Dass said, “The island will be connected to nearby towns like Jorhat very soon. The tender for the 6.8-km bridge will be awarded soon.”
Dass also pointed out the problem of erosion on the island as it is being gradually engulfed by the surrounding river.
“The island earlier had an area of 880 square kilometres at the beginning of the 20th century, but due to erosion, it has shrunk to 352 square kilometres as of 2014. The Centre has taken some decision in December 2017 on this issue. A 233-crore project has been launched to bring erosion under control and also to regain lost landmass,” he said.
Voting will take place on this island on 27 March in the first phase of assembly polls. The 126-member Assam Assembly will go to polls in three phases on March 27, April 1 and April 6. The results will be out on May 2. (ANI)