GUWAHATI: Traffic came to a halt in the city on the last day of filing of nominations with about 25,000 supporters of BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma took out a 4 km rally on Friday, reports Mukut Das.
Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh, BJP national general secretary Dilip Saikia and Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar accompanied him.
Sarma began his day by offering prayers at Doul Govinda Temple in north Guwahati and Kamakhya Temple. The rally, perhaps the largest so far in this election, began at 12.05pm from Sonaram Higher Secondary School playground at Bharalumukh and reached the Kamrup deputy commissioner’s office where he filed his nomination for the Jalukbari constituency at 2.30pm, as advised by his priest. Sarma has been winning nonstop from Jalukbari since 2001.
He was also accompanied by his mother Mrinalini Devi, wife Riniki Bhuyan and son Nandil. For the rally, 300 privately owned city buses were requisitioned, which affected commuters, mainly college students.
Traffic diversions were put in place on both Thursday and Friday because of the nominations. Students of Cotton University whose semester examinations are on, had to face difficulties. Even patients were affected as ambulances got stuck in the congestion caused by the BJP rally on Friday.
Sarma’s supporters went over two layers of barricades installed about 500 metres from the DC office and shouted slogans.
Some supporters later told TOI that Sarma was like a guardian to the constituency. “There is no leader who can think of defeating him. He is more than a leader,” said Sajidur Rahman, a resident of Roumari village. “The rally has not been taken out to urge people to vote for him. He doesn’t need such rallies. It is people’s love and affection for him that made them join him in large numbers,” he added.