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Fascinated by Assam Lemons, Sarma Makes Lemonade on Stage as He Campaigns for Phanidhar Talukdar in Bhabanipur

 Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma was presented a basket full of Assam lemons as a mark of respect by his followers. (Photo: News18)

Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma was presented a basket full of Assam lemons as a mark of respect by his followers. (Photo: News18)

Bhabanipur, a stronghold of AIUDF for the last 15 years, will be a litmus test for the BJP more so after its triumph in the recent Assam elections.

Campaigning for Phanidhar Talukdar, the BJP candidate for Bhabanipur in Lower Assam, chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday was presented a basket full of Assam lemons as a mark of respect by his followers. Sarma fascinated by the turgid lemons not only praised Gati (the place of its cultivation) but made lemonade for himself on the stage. “I will take these lemons home and as these are my day’s income,” said Sarma at the election rally at Gati Mandir Raas ground.

Bhabanipur a stronghold of the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) for the last 15 years will be a litmus test for the BJP more so after its triumph in the recent Assam elections. The prestigious assembly seat fell vacant when its legislator and AIUDF only Hindu MLA Phanidhar Talukdar opted to leave his party and join BJP on September 1.

“I wouldn’t have visited here if Phani Da wouldn’t have paved the way. I have come here for the unseasonal bye-election. Bhabanipur was in a venture state under AIUDF. I felt sad that other constituencies shall move ahead under our government and not Bhabanipur. That’s why I requested Phani Da to join BJP,” said Sarma.

Bhabanipur assembly constituency has around 50,691 minority voting population while the Assamese voters are around 49,496. The Bodo has a sizeable population of 28,597 voters. Renowned for its Viashnavite monasteries, Bhabanipur is also the birthplace of the first martyr of Assam Agitation, Khargeshwar Talukdar.

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AIUDF, meanwhile, has pitched Zubbar Ali against Phanidhar while Congress has fielded Sailendra Nath Das. AIUDF observed that it’s the party that works wonder in Bhabanipur and not an individual, and it’s the only reason why Talukdar tasted success after a series of debacle in the recent assembly elections.

Bypolls for five assembly constituencies Thowra, Mariani, Bhabanipur, Tamulpur and Gossaigaon will be held on October 30. BJP and its ally United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) have fielded candidates in all five seats. While BJP has fielded candidates in Thowra, Mariani and Bhabanipur seats, its ally UPPL has fielded candidates in Tamulpur and Gossaigaon.

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first published:October 20, 2021, 18:05 IST