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March 15, 2011

Dev bounces back with a vengeance

SILCHAR, March 14: When everyone was almost sure that a poor third position in the last Lok Sabha election had reduced him to a non entity, Sontosh Mohan Dev had bounced back with an avenging spirit. Dev played a vital role in the selection of party candidates. He was instrumental in the selection of at least four candidates- his daughter Susmita, Dr Rumi Nath in Borkhola, Anwarul Haque in Katigorah and Enamul Haque Laskar in Sonai. Out of these four, Susmita was a forerunner right from the widest dream that former Minister Misbahul Islam Laskar would be replaced by Rumi, who was expelled from her erstwhile party BJP. Misbahul, once a close aide of Dev, allegedly betrayed the latter in 2009 Lok Sabha. Dev, from the very beginning, made up his mind that in no case Misbahul would be given nomination. The State IB survey made the job much easier for Dev. The report suggested that in Borkhola, Misbahul, who was also the chairman of the State Congress Minority Cell, stood little chance and if Rumi was given nomination, then only Congress could win the seat. But, Rumi did not have membership in the district Congress, and as such her name did not figure in the DCC’s panel, which had Misbahul’s name on the top.
In the State Congress Election Committee, Dev had advocated for Rumi, and surprisingly Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi also endured the proposal.
In was an unwritten theory in Cachar Congress that if a Muslim was fielded in Borkhola then there should a Hindu in Katigorah, and vice-versa. When Rumi’s name was confirmed for Borkhola, someone from the Muslim community was needed for Katigorah. Otherwise Pradip Paul, a local and promising candidate who contested 2006 election unsuccessfully, was almost the sure candidate. But then again Dev did not favour Pradip, as he was allegedly involved in the conspiracy hatched by top leaders of the Barak Valley Congress to defeat Dev in 2009. Then came the name of Sharifujjman Laskar, another promising youth as well as the general secretary of North East Congress Coordinator Committee. Sharif was the only voice that sounded a direct protest against the conspiracy hatched against Susmita Dev to topple her from the post of Silchar Municipal Board. Sharif even knocked the door of Rahul Gandhi. But surprisingly enough, Dev did not favour Sharif when his name came for consideration. Rather Dev preferred Anwarul Haque, Badarpur MLA, who was expelled from the AIUDF for voting in favour of Congress in Rajya Sabha election. Anwarul, though originally hailed from Katigorah, he had been in neighbouring Karimganj district for the last four decades. Anwarul, a Muslim fisherman community representative, was now pitted against his erstwhile party colleague Moulana Ataur Rahman Majharbhuiya.
Sonai MLA Kutub Ahmed was always known as a Dev loyal. But this time, Dev had reportedly favoured the controversial OSD of Irrigation Department Enamul Haque Laskar. The arithmetic was simple. If Misbahul attempts any sabotage against Susmita so far Muslim votes was concerned, there would be Enamul Haque who could counter. Sources said, Sontosh Mohan Dev scripted the list with single point agenda to make his daughter win. (Sentinelassam)

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