In politics, nothing happens by accident. If something happens, one can bet it was planned that way. In his early forties, Azizul Haque of Morigaon in Assam definitely has his own plans when it comes to politics. Wearing a long, flowing yellow kurta and a bunch of files in his hand, the diminutive Azizul was seen pacing the alleys of the MLA colony of Dispur. He would stand in front of the gates, seeking an audience with the legislators or wait for a minister’s vehicle to arrive, looking for an opportunity to meet them for a special reason.
“I have all the files and papers with me. I have collected the nomination papers. I am planning to contest the Rajya Sabha elections and give a stiff competition to Sarbanada Sonowal. I need the signatures of the members of the legislative assembly for my nomination. Most of them are out in their constituencies and the ministers are busy. I need to meet them urgently. I will file my nomination going by the constitution of the country and the President of the country,” said a confident Azizul.
Union minister and former chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal filed his nomination on September 21 and is all set to be elected unopposed after the opposition decided not to field any candidate against him for the Rajya Sabha seat. Accompanied by Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma, state BJP president Bhabesh Kalita and leaders of allies AGP and UPPL, Sonowal filed his papers before returning officer Dulal Pegu in the assembly. The Rajya Sabha seat fell vacant after speaker Biswajit Daimary resigned from the Upper House following his election to the assembly last April.
A farmer by profession, Azizul, who is two and a half feet tall, says his hopes are high.
“These days you need to manage the MLAs. I have around 13 bighas of agricultural land and an account in the bank. I think I have enough balance to fight the elections. I understand that contesting polls today needs money. I have done my class 10th and that shall suffice in the requirement,” he said.
While moving in the lanes of the minister’s colony in the scorching heat, Azizul barely realised that the last date for filing nominations for the Rajya Sabha polls was on September 22 and he didn’t have much time. The results for the elections will be declared on October 4.
Assam offers seven seats to the Upper House of which six are currently occupied — two each by BJP (Bhubaneswar Kalita and Kamakhya Prasad Tasa) and Congress (Ripun Bora and Ranee Narah), one by AGP (Birendra Prasad Baishya) and one by Independent Ajit Kumar Bhuyan.
(With inputs from Biju Deka, News18 Assam)