BJP announces first list of 70 candidates for Assam polls
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday evening announced the first list of 70 candidates for the Assam Assembly elections.
Top BJP leaders including Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) Convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma will contest from their traditional seats. While Sonowal will contest from Majuli, Sarma will gear up for the poll battle from Jalukbari.
The announcement has also put to rest whatever uncertainty there was over Sarma contesting the polls this time. The NEDA Convenor had earlier indicated that he was not inclined to contest the Assembly poll this time, but if the party wished, he would abide by its wish.
Interestingly, State Party President Ranjeet Kumar Dass will contest from Patacharkuchi, and not from Sorbhog, where he won last time. “The party workers wanted the BJP state president to contest from Patacharkuchi,” Sarma later told reporters.
Patacharkuchi is an Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) bastion and the winner of the last election, Pabindra Kumar Deka had left AGP to join Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) recently.
It may be noted that former Congress leader, Ajanta Neog, who joined BJP ahead of the polls, will be contesting from her traditional bastion of Golaghat.
Among the other leaders to contest from the saffron party in the first phase are Ashok Singhal (Dhekiajuli), Ganesh Kumar Limbu from Barchalla, Krishna Kamal Tanti (Rangapara), Padma Hazarika (Sootea), Pramod Borthakur (Biswanath), Ranjeet Dutta (Behali), Utpal Bora (Gohpur), Angoorlata Deka (Batadrava), Nazir Hussain (Rupohihat), Anil Saikia (Samaguri), Biswajit Phukan (Sarupathar), Mrinal Saikia (Khumtai), Hitendra Nath Goswami (Jorhat), Hemanta Kalita (Titabar), Ramani tanti (mariani), Mayur Buragohain (Nazira), Jogen Mohan (Mahmara), Dharmeswar Konwar (Sonari), Kushal Duwari (Thowra), Surabhi Rajkonwar (Sibsagar), Amiyo Bhuyan (Bihpuria) Manab Deka (Lakhimpur), Naba Kumar Doley (Dhakuakhana), Ranoj Pegu (Dhemaji), Bhuban Pegu (Jonai), Charadhar Gogoi (Moran), Prasanta Phukan (Dibrugarh), Binod Hazarika (Lahowal), Terosh Gowala (Duliajan), Bimal Borah (Tingkhong), Tarang Gogoi (Naharkatia), Sanjay Kisan (Tinsukia), Suren Phukan (Diboi), Bhaskar Sarma (Margherita) and Bolin Chetia (Sadiya).
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Among those who are contesting in the second phase are Bijoy Malakar (Ratabari), Krishnendu Paul (Patharkandi), Manas Das (Karimganj North), Biswarup Bhattacharjee (Badarpur), Subrata Nath (Katlicherra), Dipayan Chakraborty (Silchar), Aminul Haque Laskar (Sonai), Parimal Suklabaidya (Dholai), Mihir Kanti Shome (Udharbond), Kaushik Rai (Lakhipur), Amalendu Das (Barkhola), Gautom Roy (Katigorah), Nandita Garlosa (Haflong), Nomal Momin (Bokajan), Dorsing Ronghang (Howraghat), Bidya Sing Engleng (Diphu), Roop Sing Teran (Baithalangso), Diganta Kalita (Kamalpur), Bhabesh Kalita (Rangiya), Jayanta Malla Barua (Nalbari), Biswajit Daimary (Panery), Madhuram Deka (Kalaigaon), Gurujyoti Das (Mangaldoi), Jitu Kishan (Majbat), Pijush Hazarika (Jagiroad), Ramakanta Deori (Morigaon), Kadiru Jjaman, Zinnah (Laharighat), Rupak Sarmah (Nowgong), Jitu Goswami (Barhampur) and Sinu Misra (Lumding).
The saffron party is contesting 92 seats across the three phases.
Alliance partners AGP will contest 26 seats while United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) will contest from eight seats.
A press conference was held in New Delhi on Friday evening, where it was announced that 11 sitting BJP MLAs would not get tickets to contest first and second phase polls this time.
In the past five days, there have been hectic parleys among the ruling alliance partners over seat-sharing and tickets for candidates, both in Guwahati and New Delhi.
Meanwhile, AGP president Atul Bora announced that the 26 seats the regional party would be contesting are Chabua, Amguri, Teok, Dergaon, Bokakhat, Kaliabor, Raha, Gauhati West, Chaygaon, Boko, Goalpara East, Goalpara West, Mancachar, Abhayapuri North and Abhayapuri south, Bongaigaon, Barpeta, Bhabanipur, Chenga, Sarukhetri, Tezpur, Algapur Karimganj south, Dalgaon, Naoboicha and Jamunamukh.
“Last time, the AGP had contested 27 seats… This time they are contesting 26 seats because our party president (Ranjeet Dass) is contesting from one seat… so AGP is leaving one seat…. UPPL will contest from eight seats. Another alliance partner, Rabha Joutha Mancha will get one seat but they will contest under the BJP symbol. So it will be a four-party alliance, with three parties having their own symbols,” NEDA Convenor Sarma said.
(Edited by Ibankyntiew Mawrie)