Roy wants poll ticket for wife

Silchar Jan. 16: Assam Congress leader Gautam Roy, a six-time MLA from Katlicherra, has recommended his wife's name as a Congress candidate for Algapur Assembly seat in Hailakandi.

The Election Commission has fixed February 24 as the date of bypoll in Algapur that has been necessitated by the death of former Assam minister and AGP leader Shahidul Alam Choudhury. Choudhury was a four-time MLA from Algapur constituency.

Sources said Roy, a Congress heavyweight, decided to recommend the name of his wife Mandira, 55, because he is reportedly miffed with his son Rahul who is allegedly involved in an extra-martial relationship.

Rahul, 34, has contested two elections as a Congress candidate from Algapur seat. In the 2006 Assembly polls, he trounced AGP stalwart Choudhury by about 5,000 votes.

Rahul, however, suffered reverses in the next Assembly polls in 2011 in the same seat when AGP candidate Choudhury defeated him by 12,000 votes.

However, in the long run, Roy plans to leave Katlicherra constituency from where he had won elections for a record six times since the Assembly polls in 1985, to Rahul, according to political observers in Hailakandi.

Roy is projecting himself on the larger political canvas in the Barak valley. He aspires to contest as a Congress candidate in the Silchar Lok Sabha constituency which is the bastion of party stalwart Santosh Mohan Dev who has made it his home constituency by winning from there for a record six times.

Dev has planned to vacate the seat in next year's battle to his youngest daughter Sushmita Dev, 39, a lawyer and politician, in a calculated plan to hand over his family's political legacy to his London-educated daughter.

Roy claimed that he had already obtained clearance from the PCC and the party high command about the nomination of his wife, a homemaker with no political experience, as a candidate from Algapur which was Choudhury's bastion.

If his wife gets nomination from there, the Algapur seat will witness an interesting battle of ballots between two political families of Hailakandi district.

Choudhury's second wife, Mamduda Yasmin Laskar, a college teacher in Hailakandi town, has emerged as a front-runner for an AGP ticket to contest from the family's political citadel of Algapur.

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