In run-up to Assam bypolls, 39 candidates filed papers for five assembly seats
A total of 39 candidates have put in papers for bye-election to five assembly seats in Assam till Friday, the last date for filing nominations.
Gossaigaon had the highest number of 13 candidates while Mariani with 4 has the least. Nine candidates filed nomination papers in Tamulpur, 8 in Bhabanipur and 5 in Thowra seat.
With the ruling United People’s Party Liberal and opposition Congress, All India United Democratic Front and Bodoland Peoples’ Front fielding candidates, Gossaigaon is set to be the most keenly contested of all five seats.
In Tamulpur, it seems like a two-way contest between the UPPL and Congress candidates. Tamulpur and Gossaigaon seats had fallen vacant due to deaths of Bodoland Peoples’ Front (BPF) and UPPL legislators.
But the focus would be on Thowra, Mariani and Bhabanipur seats which are going to polls again, months after this year’s assembly polls, due to sitting MLAs from opposition Congress and AIUDF switching sides to join the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Phanidhar Talukdar (Bhabanipur) who was with AIUDF and former Congress MLAs Rupjyoti Kurmi and Sushanta Borgohain, who had represented Mariani and Thowra seats respectively, have all got BJP tickets from the same seats for the bypolls.
On Friday, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma accompanied all three candidates-Borgohain, Kurmi and Talukdar-to file their nominations papers.
“Our candidates will win easily in Thowra, Mariani and Tamulpur. But as per my political assessment, in Bhabanipur and Gossaigaon there will be exciting contests,” Sarma told journalists in Sivasagar on Friday.
“The candidates who joined our party did so because they wanted to develop their constituencies. I was also called a traitor in 2015 when I quit Congress and joined BJP. I am the chief minister now,” he added.
At present the ruling BJP has 59 MLAs, UPPL 5 and AGP 9 while opposition Congress has 27, AIUDF 15, BPF-3, CPM 1 and newly floated Raijor Dal has 1 seat in the 126-member house. Bye-election to the Majuli seat, which fell vacant after Union minister Sarbananda Sonowal resigned last week, will take place later.
Voting for the five seats will take place on October 30 and counting will happen on November 2.