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The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Algapur ready for bypoll

Silchar, Feb. 21: Algapur Assembly constituency in Hailakandi district, about 42km from here, is getting ready for the byelection scheduled for February 24.

Public health engineering minister Goutam Roy and AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal have emerged as proxy candidates in this primarily agrarian seat.

While Roy, a six-time MLA, has plunged into a hectic campaign for his wife Mandira, 55, Ajmal is enthusiastically batting for his party nominee Mehebubul Hasan Choudhury, 38, a lawyer.

The Algapur seat fell vacant in November following the death of its five-time legislator and former minister Shahidul Alam Choudhury.

Mandira, a homemaker, appears to be apparently uneasy when she moves into the campaign trail led by her husband Goutam. Only the other day she had said that she was content with watching politics from the sidelines.

Roy is now assuring voters in Algapur that if his wife gets elected, “I as their elder brother would take care of all their needs and requirements.”

Ajmal, known as a perfume baron, thundered in every rally that “if my elder brother Goutam Roy is the dada of Hailakandi then I am the dada of Mumbai,” referring to his business empire in the country’s commercial capital.

Ajmal, however, has suffered a setback after his party lost three zilla parishad seats in the just-concluded panchayat election in Algapur block.

“Ajmal and his campaigners are apprehensive that in this minority-dominated seat, the votes of his community this time are likely to be split between the Congress, AIDUF and the AGP,” said Maniruddin Choudhury, a government contractor in Algapur.

The total number of electorate in Algapur Assembly seat is 142,702.