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From fight against AIDS to fight for poll ticket

Nagaon/Guwahati, March 5: Jahnabi Goswami, an HIV patient and one of the most well-known AIDS awareness campaigners in Assam, has joined the ruling Congress at a function in Nagaon.

Jahnabi, who is from an interior village 45 km from the district headquarters town, yesterday submitted an application to district unit president Bharat Bhuyan for the party ticket from Barhampur Assembly constituency, stronghold of former chief minister and sitting MLA Prafulla Kumar Mahanta.

She joined seven other Congress ticket aspirants from Barhampur, including NSUI’s state president Bibhuti Bhusan Borthakur and senior party worker Citralekha Phukan.

“I will work for the party in the days to come even if the party high command does not approve my candidature,” Jahnabi said.

Jahnabi, who is HIV positive, heads the Assam Network of Positive People. She contracted the virus from her late husband in the nineties. She has since been working to spread awareness about the disease in the state.

The rush for Congress tickets has intensified with over 700 applying since Friday.

The ticket-seekers thronged Haryana Bhavan in the Narayan Nagar area of Guwahati, where a training camp for PCC members was organised. AICC in-charge for Assam, Digvijay Singh, was the chief guest at the camp, which was attended, among others, by chief minister Tarun Gogoi, state Congress chief Bhubaneswar Kalita and senior party functionary Chandan Bagchi.

In the evening, Singh, Bagchi and Kalita met Gogoi at his residence.

The scene at the headquarters of the main Opposition party, the AGP was no different.

Nearly 1,000 supporters of former social welfare minister Rekha Rani Das Boro laid siege to the party head office at Ambari, demanding her renomination from the Barama Assembly constituency. The slogan-shouting supporters threatened mass resignation if she was denied a ticket.

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