Modi inaugurates Bogibeel bridge. Photograph:( ANI )
BJP under Sarbananda Sonowal had won from Lakhimpur during the Modi wave in 2014 upsetting the AGP-Congress applecart.
Lakhimpur Lok Sabha constituency in north-eastern Assam assumes significance due to its strategic location and economic benefits it now promises to the people in the area.
It is well known for its valuable food resources including rice, tea and sugarcane, however, it was the inauguration of the Bogibeel bridge with a rail-road service stretching from Lakhimpur to Dhemaji along the Brahmaputra which has not only changed the atmosphere around the area but it has assumed new political significance.
The importance of the constituency can be gauged from the fact that Rahul Gandhi has already toured the area and addressed a rally well ahead of the first phase polls on April 11th. The Congress president held an election rally on April 3rd in the Congress headquarters meant to boost the morale of the Congress workers.
PM Modi who had inaugurated the country's longest bridge back in December during his high profile visit to Guwahati sent out political vibes in the area, a factor which the BJP hopes to leverage on polling day.
Earlier, Lakhimpur district contained several areas of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, however, it was separated from it gradually.
The flourishing district has been an Asom Gana Parishad(AGP) and Congress bastion since the constituency first went to the polls in 1967, however, in a significant shift the BJP under Sarbananda Sonowal had won from here during the Modi wave in 2014 upsetting the AGP-Congress applecart.
AGP this time has aligned with the BJP and decided not to field any candidate in the constituency due to its seat-sharing agreement.
BJP's Sonowal in 2014 had won the seat bagging over 6 lakh votes while beating his nearest Congress rival Ranee Narah quite easily who won just over 3 lakh votes.
This time the BJP has given the ticket to Pradan Baruah, while the Congress has decided to give Dr. Hema Hari Prasanna Pegu a chance to win back the seat.
CPM has decided to fight the seat under Amiya Kumar Handique's leadership and Socialist Unity Centre Of India(Communist) have given Hem Kanta Miri a ticket.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is an important factor in this polls, with the Opposition parties counting on the anti-incumbency factor working against the BJP.
There are over nine lakh electorates in this constituency which hosts several small-scale and handloom factories. The Subansiri Lower Hydroelectric Project(SLHEP) is also being constructed in the area which will allow it to keep its development model chugging away.
The constituency has several new voters, at least 11,000 over the age of 18 who could prove to be the crucial gamechanger in this elections. The results to be declared on May 23rd would be keenly followed due to the economic boost the constituency could provide to the area and to its people.