267 candidates in fray in 1st phase, 408 file nominations for 2nd phase of Assam Assembly election

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Guwahati, Mar 13 (PTI) Altogether 267 contestants are in the fray for the first phase of polling for 47 seats of Assam Assembly, while 408 others filed nominations for 39 constituencies of the second phase, the CEO office said on Saturday.

Joint Chief Electoral Officer Rahul Das said out of 295 nominations in the first phase, 10 were rejected and 18 candidates withdrew their papers.

The prominent candidates who will contest in the first phase from the BJP are Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal (Majuli), Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami (Jorhat), ministers Ranjit Dutta (Behali), Naba Kumar Doley (Jonai) and Sanjoy Kishan (Tinsukia).

NDA alliance partner AGP ministers Atul Bora (Bokakhat) and Keshab Mahanta (Kaliabor) will also try their political luck during the first phase of polling on March 27.

Assam Pradesh Congress Committee President Ripun Bora (Gohpur), Congress Legislature Party leader Debabrata Saikia (Nazira), AICC Secretary Bhupen Borah (Bihpuria) and former ministers Bharat Narah (Naoboicha), Pranatee Phukan (Naharkatiya) and Rakibul Hussain (Samaguri) are contesting in the first phase.

The fate of Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) President Lurinjyoti Gogoi from Duliajan and Naharkatiya seats, and jailed anti-CAA activist and Raijor Dal chief Akhil Gogoi from Sivasagar will be decided in the first phase.

Meanwhile, a total of 408 candidates filed nominations for the 2nd phase of assembly elections during the stipulated time frame till Friday, Das said in an official release.

From the ruling BJP, ministers Parimal Suklabaidya (Dholai), Bhabesh Kalita (Rangia), Pijush Hazarika (Jagiroad) and Deputy Speaker Aminul Haque Laskar (Sonai) have filed their papers for the second phase.

Other prominent BJP candidates are Diganta Kalita (Kamalpur), Rama Kanta Dewri (Morigaon), Jitu Goswami (Barhampur), Mihir Kanti Shome (Udharbond), Gautam Roy (Katigora), Nandita Garlosa (Haflong) and Jayanta Malla Baruah (Nalbari), the statement said.

AGP's Aziz Ahmed Khan (Karimganj South) also filed papers, while the Congress' Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha (Karimganj North), Ajit Singh (Udharbond), Sum Ronghang (Diphu), Kishor Kumar Bhattacharyya (Kamalpur) also submitted their nominations.

Zakir Hussain Laskar (Hailakandi) and Suzam Uddin Laskar (Katlicherra) from AIUDF, Rihon Daimari (Udalguri) and Durga Das Boro (Kalaigaon) from BPF, and Munin Mahanta (Morigaon) from CPI have also applied to contest in the second phase.

Former Deputy Speaker Dilip Kumar Paul, who resigned from the BJP after he was denied a ticket, is contesting as an independent from Silchar.

The last date of nomination for 39 constituencies of the second phase was Friday, scrutiny is on March 15 and withdrawal is March 17. Polling for this phase will be held on April 1.

Elections to the 126-member Assam Assembly will be held in three phases with 40 seats in the third phase going to polls on April 6. PTI TR RG RG