By-Elections in Assam: Congress to go alone, BJP in alliance

The Assam Congress earlier this month announced that the Badruddin Ajmal-led AIUDF and tribal-based party BPF would no longer be partners of the ‘Mahajot’ in the state.
BJP and Congress Flag Poster
BJP and Congress Flag Poster

Guwahati, Sep 29 : With by-elections to five Assembly seats in Assam to be held on October 30, the main opposition Congress is likely to go alone to take on the ruling BJP, which would contest in four seats, leaving one seat to its ally United Peoples Party Liberal (UPPL).

According to the Election Commission announcement on Tuesday, bypolls to Gossaigaon, Tamulpur, Bhabanipur, Mariani and Thowra would be held on October 30.

Congress’ chief spokesman Bobbeeta Sharma said on Wednesday that as of now, her party would contest the bypolls alone.

“However, senior party leaders would discuss all the aspects of the by-elections,” Sharma told IANS.

The Congress, which ruled Assam for 15 years (2001-2016), managed 29 seats in the March-April Assembly elections, three more than 2016 polls, when it lost power in the state to the BJP.

Of the other partners of the Congress led 10-party ‘Mahajot’ (grand alliance), the All India United Democratic Front won 16 seats, the Bodoland Peoples Front (BPF) got four seats, and the Communist Party of India-Marxist won just one seat.

The Assam Congress earlier this month announced that the Badruddin Ajmal-led AIUDF and tribal-based party BPF would no longer be partners of the ‘Mahajot’ in the state.

In the March-April Assembly polls, the Congress had left the Bhabanipur seat to the AIUDF while the Gossaigaon seat was contested by the BPF.

Recently, four-time Congress MLA from Mariani, Rupjyoti Kurmi, and two-time party legislator from Thowra, Sushanta Borgohain, had resigned from the party and joined the BJP.

Phanidhar Talukdar, the lone Hindu MLA of the Muslim-based AIUDF from Bhabanipur, had resigned from the Assembly before recently joining the BJP.

Tamulpur MLA Leho Ram Boro of the UPPL and Gossaigaon legislator Majendra Narzary of the BPF died of Covid-19.

After being elected to the Rajya Sabha uncontested, Union minister and former Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal resigned from the Majuli Assembly seat on Tuesday. However, Majuli is not in the list of by-elections to be held on October 30.

BJP sources said that the party would field candidates in four seats and leave the Tamulpur constituency for UPPL.

BJP’s state unit chief Bhabesh Kalita has claimed that the party would win all the five seats in the by-elections.

In the 126-member Assam Assembly, BJP won 60 seats, which is similar to the number it won five years ago. BJP allies Asom Gana Parishad won nine seats against 14 last time, while the new alliance partner, UPPL, got six seats.

Total
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