These gen-next politicians of Assam don't want to be known as symbols of dynastic rule

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These gen-next politicians of Assam don't want to be known as symbols of dynastic rule
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(From left to right) Manas Bora, Sushmita Dev and Gaurav Gogoi are the new-age candidates of Assam.

GuwahatiFrom the hallowed walls of New York University to the dusty roads of Assam, the new-age candidates in the state are determined to make a mark of their own.

31-year-old Gaurav Gogoi, son of chief minister Tarun Gogoi, is contesting from the Kaliabor Lok Sabha constituency. The Public Administration degree-holder from New York University has been nurturing his constituency for the past three years with some entrepreneurship workshops for the local youth and a unique farm-to-food programme. During these years, he has been dedicated towards working in Jorhat, promoting organic farming and sustainable livelihood for the people.

Like Gaurav, another western-educated politician's son is fighting to carry forward her father, former union minister Santosh Monhan Dev's legacy. Sushmita Dev is a lawyer and alumnus of the Thames Valley University, and Kings College, London University. As an MLA since 2011, she is fighting from her family pocket-borough, the Bengali-dominated Silchar.

Dynastic politics is a bad word in Indian politics today and these candidates have all asserted that they should be judged only for their hardwork and tenacity.

"Frankly, it is quite frustrating for people like me to keep defending ourselves as a symbol of dynastic rule. I think as per constitution I have an equal right as anybody else. It is my  fundamental right," says Sushmita.

While Gaurav and Sushmita may come with the right credentials, the same cannot be said about the son of local strongman and minister Akon Bora's son.

Manas Bora was selected through Rahul Gandhi's dream primary project within the party from Guwahati, the only one held in north-east India. He has numerous cases pending cases against him including land-grabbing and murder.

Mr Bora however says,"There are a few political establishments which have some political ambition against me. So they have filed some case which has no chargesheet."

The big question now is whether Assam would be a breeding ground for young politicians with bright ideas irrespective of their family background or will dynasty politics come with a health warning.

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