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                        Vol.3, No.9 [*] March 4, 1997

          It's not the voting that's democracy, it's the counting.

                               - Tom Stoppard

1  CONGRESS BAGS 10, ASDC 1, BJP 1, UMF 1, IND 1, AGP 0	    [S:4-MAR-98]
   The Congress swept the Lok Sabha polls in Assam by bagging 10 out  of
   the 14 seats.  The ruling AGP-led four-party alliance not only drew a
   blank   but   also  relegated  to  the  third  position  in  all  the
   constituencies barring a couple of them while the ASDC  retained  its
   bastion  in  the  two  hill  district  by  winning the Diphu seat and
   Congress-supported UMF won the Barpeta seat  by  defeating  the  BJP.
   ABSU-supported  independent  candidate, Sansuma Khungur Bwiswmuthiary
   won the Kokrajhar seat.   The  BJP  candidate  Kabindra  Purakayastha
   defeated  Congress heavyweight Santosh Mohan Dev by over 19,000 votes
   to bag the Silchar seat.
   TEZPUR:  Mr Moni Kumar Subba of the Congress defeated his nearest BJP
   rival Mr Iswar Prasanna Hazarika by 130,349 votes.
   NAGAON:  Congress candidate Nripen Goswami defeated his  nearest  BJP
   rival Rajen Gohain by 37,843 votes.
   KALIABOR:   Mr  Tarun  Gogoi  of  Congress  defeated  AGP's Mr Keshab
   Mahanta by 232,345 votes.
   NORTH LAKHIMPUR:  Congress  candidate  Ms  Rani  Narah  defeated  her
   nearest rival Dr Arun Kumar Sarma of AGP by 120,782 votes.
   BARPETA:   Congress-supported  UMF candidate Mr Golam Osmani defeated
   his nearest rival, Dr Manjushri Pathak of the BJP by  224,509  votes.
   Mr Uddhab Barman of the CPI(M) who had won the seat in 1991 and 1996,
   secured the third position this time.
   DIPHU:   ASDC  supremo  Dr  Jayanta Rongpi won the Diphu seat for the
   third consecutive term by defeating his nearest rival, Mr Biren Singh
   Ingti of the Congress by 104,864 votes.
   DHUBRI: Congress candidate Mr Abdul Hamid defeated his nearest rival,
   Dr Pannalal Oswal of the BJP by over 295,000 votes.
   GUWAHATI: Congress candidate Mr Bhubaneswar Kalita won  the  Guwahati
   seat  by  defeating his nearest rival, Col. Manoranjan Goswami of the
   BJP by over 128,000 votes.
   KARIMGANJ: Congress candidate Mr  Nepal  Das  defeated  BJP's  Swapan
   Kumar Das by a margin of 10,468 votes.
   JORHAT:  Congress candidate Mr Bijay Krishna  Handique  registered  a
   spectacular  victory  over his nearest rival Mr Deba Kumar Borah by a
   margin of 161,507 votes.  Mr Handique won the  Jorhat  seat  for  the
   third time in a row.
   DIBRUGARH:  Congress  candidate and former Union Minister Paban Singh
   Ghatowar has won the Dibrugarh Lok Sabha seat.
   MANGALDOI:  Mr Madhab Rajbonshi of the Congress who won the Mangaldoi
   seat defeated his nearest BJP rival, Mr  Munindra  Singha  Lahkar  by
   51,019 votes.    The  Union  Steel  Minister  Birendra  Prasad of AGP
   finished way behind his BJP and  Congress  rivals  with  only  51,263

   Chief Minister and AGP president P.K.Mahanta owned up `full moral and
   political responsibility' for the debacle of the party and its allies
   in the Lok Sabha elections and expressed that  the  party  could  not
   show the results expected by partymen. He appealed to all partymen to
   remain  united  and  face the challenges the AGP would confront after
   the elections, together.
   AGP vice-president Nurul Hussain said, the ULFA's threat  of  killing
   AGP workers and intimidation of the voters were primarily responsible
   for  the  party's  debacle.  He adduced the rejection by the Election
   Commission of the State Government's request to hold two-phase  polls
   and  by  the Home Ministry to despatch an additional 609 companies of
   security forces to provide security to the votes as the other  factor
   of the defeat of the party.
   Food  and Civil Supplies Minister Digen Bora termed the defeat of the
   AGP-led alliance as the `joint victory for the Congress and the ULFA'
   and said, the ULFA would not be able to get rid of the curse  of  the
   people  even  by  bathing in the Ganges for having hobnobbed with the
   Congress and helped the party to win.
   In a `election special' interview broadcast  by  AIR  Dibrugarh,  the
   APCC  president,  Mr  Tarun  Gogoi, who had won the Kaliabor seat has
   termed that the failure of the  Mahanta  Government  to  fulfill  the
   aspiration  of  the common people, inept handling of the issues posed
   by the ULFA and Bodo rebels, lack of interest in solving  the  issues
   of the minority community, tribal issues amongst others were the main
   reasons for the AGP's defeat.

   The  debacle  of  the AGP and the BJP in Assam has come as a shock to
   the central leadership of the BJP,  while  Congress  leadership  held
   growing unpopularity of the regional party as the main causes for its
   rout  in  the  State. Unexpected outcome has stunned the BJP in Assam
   and the party will need some time to figure out what  went  wrong  in
   the  State,  said general secretary of the BJP, Govindcharya, talking
   to `The Assam Tribune' in New Delhi on March 3. 
   The BJP, like the AGP, was anticipating to bag at least four seats in
   Assam  as  it  supposedly had a clear edge in the Karimganj, Silchar,
   Dhubri and Guwahati parliamentary seats.  `On the brighter  side,  we
   have  emerged  second  party  in  almost all of the constituencies in
   Assam barring an odd couple,' he said.

   The Gauhati High Court has directed the Army to produce a boy  picked
   up from Sialmari under Tihu police station, before the court on March
   9.   The  Court also directed the Union of India to deposit an amount
   of Rs.100,000 in a nationalized bank and issue show cause  notice  to
   the Army authorities.  Justice V.D.Gyani and Justice N.C.Jain hearing
   a  habeas  corpus petition, observed that the 27-year-old boy, picked
   up by the Army on June 8, 1997, has  not  been  handed  over  to  the
   police or produced before a magistrate till date.
   The  court said that at this stage the Court was not inclined to pass
   any order before the Army officer  concerned  of  the  Army  camp  at
   Rangia  to  appear before the Court. However, the Court said that the
   refusal of the Army personnel to participate in  an  inquiry  by  the
   Subdivisional   Officer   (Civil)  on  the  matter  is  in  itself  a
   disobedience of the Court.

   A down-to-dusk Hojai bandh has been called  on  March  4  in  protest
   against the killing of Badrul Islam, a student of St. Peter's School,
   Shillong  by  the  security  personal of the Nagaon superintendent of
   police, Mr Harmeet Singh on March 1 at  9  pm  near  Sikaribari,  two
   kilometre  from  Hojai in Nagaon district. Badrul was returning after
   attending a musical  `Antakshari'  programme.  Cutting  across  party
   lines,  prominent leaders termed the killing as flagrant violation of
   human rights by trigger-happy men in uniform. Shops  and  educational
   institutions  in  Islamnagar  remained closed as a mark of respect to
   the youngman.

   The  10-hour Dibrugarh bandh call given by the All Dibrugarh Students
   Union (ADSU) in protest against the killing of a student of Dibrugarh
   Hanumanbux  Surajmal  Kanoi  Commerce  College,  Jayanta  Saikia,  by
   hooligans and a section of traders in New Market area on February 26,
   was total and spontaneous.  Several organizations including BJP, Shiv
   Sena,  Lachit  Sena,  Dibrugarh  units, Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra
   Parishad (AJYCP), AGP, Dibrugarh unit, Assembly of Muslim  Youth  and
   Diamond  Sporting Club, have condemned the killing and had lent their
   support to the ADSU-sponsored Dibrugarh bandh.

   A special autism teachers' training is being organized in  Ellisville
   Missisippi, USA to train teachers for autistic children of India.  Mr
   Mark  Yeager,  a well-known speaker in autistic meetings and seminars
   in USA, will conduct this training.    Autism  teachers,  parents  of
   autistic  children  and  prospective  autism teachers can go for this
   training.  Dr D.D.Jesudas, the Director of Carmel Residential School,
   Tezpur said that it was not for those who want to settle down in USA.
   He added that the emphasis is to get classes and schools started  for
   the autistic children in India.

   American Consulting Engineers Council of  New  England's  Engineering
   Excellence  Small  Firm  Project  Award 1998 was awarded to the Green
   International Affiliates, Inc, a consulting engineering company owned
   by Mr Profulla C.  Khound, for a project in  Chicopee,  Massachusetts
   titled `Heartstone   Quarry   Brook   Restoration  Project'.    Green
   International Affiliates founded in 1954, serves public  and  private
   sector clients worldwide.

Compiled from newspaper and agency reports for private circulation only.
      [S=Sentinel, AT=Assam Tribune, Agencies = UNI, PTI, PIB]