Two close aides of Congress president Rahul Gandhi—Gaurav Gogoi and Sushmita Deb—are trailing behind their BJP rivals by substantial margins in Assam. Like Rahul Gandhi, both Gogoi and Dev owe their political careers to their fathers. Gogoi’s father, Tarun Gogoi, was the Congress chief minister of Assam, while Dev’s father, Santosh Mohan Deb had been a longtime Congress MP and was a Minister in the Narasimha Rao cabinet.
Political pundits had billed Gaurav Gogoi’s victory from Kaliabor, the Gogoi family borough, and Deb’s from Silchar (also the Deb family’s stronghold) as a foregone conclusion. But the fact that the electorate of these two constituencies had other thoughts is becoming clear now. The BJP has established early and handsome leads in both these constituencies, which have been traditional Congress bastions for many decades now.
Both Gogoi and Deb are close aides of Rahul Gandhi and part of his inner circle. Gogoi had been handpicked by Gandhi to speak on many issues on the floor of the 16th Lok Sabha and has been in the forefront of criticising the Narendra Modi government on the floor of the House. Deb has been a prominent spokesperson of the Congress.