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Saturday , April 5 , 2014
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Sonia is passé. Here comes Elizabeth

- Gaurav’s British wife picks up Assamese & campaigns in local tongue
Gaurav Gogoi and his wife Elizabeth (extreme left) match dance steps with artistes during a rally at Samaguri in Nagaon. Picture by UB Photos

Kaliabor, April 4 (PTI): Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi’s son Gaurav, contesting from here, has his own “star” campaigner, his British wife who is learning Assamese fast and using her language skills at the few political rallies she has attended.

Gaurav, 31, is trying his luck in politics for the first time from the seat which his father has won thrice and so has his uncle Dip Gogoi, the sitting MP.

Elizabeth accompanies her husband to most of his poll campaigns. Foreign-educated Gaurav euphorically said Elizabeth, who he married five months ago, has picked up Assamese very well.

“In some of the public rallies in Nagaon and Golaghat, she spoke in Assamese and expressed her gratitude,” the Gogoi said.

He claimed local people have appreciated her picking up Assamese so quickly. Elizabeth mainly spoke about the economic growth of the region and empowerment of rural people, he added.

Kaliabor has returned Congress candidates to the Lok Sabha since 1967 but for two occasions when AGP nominees won in 1984 and 1996. Kaliabor has a total of 14,44,692 voters, of which 7,46,256 are men and rest women. Voting for this seat will take place during the first phase on April 7. Gaurav’s main rivals in the poll contest are AGP’s Arun Sarma, BJP’s Mrinal Saikia and Bijoy Kumar Tiru of AIUDF.

Asked about the support from his uncle, who vacated the seat for him, Gaurav said, “There is a very positive message from him. He has worked for the people and now wants me to carry on his unfinished work. The Opposition is floating rumours that he is upset with my candidature.” The election and visits to villages are giving him an opportunity to interact with the local people.

Gaurav, a masters in public administration from New York University, is the founding secretary of two NGOs, Farm2Food Foundation and Youth Forum on Foreign Policy. He is also one of the directors of Guwahati-based media group Eclectic Publications. Elizabeth is working as a project manager with an NGO, Lead India.

According to his affidavit, Gaurav along with his wife has total movable assets worth Rs 54,73,199, but they do not have any immovable properties. While Gaurav has Rs 18,09,686 worth of movable assets, Elizabeth has Rs 36,63,513 worth of properties. In 2012-13, Gaurav filed income tax returns showing his total income as Rs 3,58,680. Filing the returns, Elizabeth stated her income to be Rs 19,60,000.