ECI to hear Saturday issue of BPF candidate joining BJP amidst polls in Assam

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Guwahati, Apr 2 (PTI) The Election Commission of India will hold a hearing on Saturday into Bodoland Peoples Front (BPF) candidate Rangja Khungur Basumatary crossing over to BJP in the middle of the ongoing Assam Assembly polls.

The ECI will hold the hearing into the BPF candidate at 12 noon Saturday, a source told PTI on Friday.

Ahead of the third phase of polls in Assam when the Tamulpur constituency in which Basumatary is a contestant is slated to go to vote, the contestant quit his party and joined BJP on Thursday.

The poll panel is acting on a complaint submitted to it by BPF in Delhi the previous day.

Basumatary had reportedly gone missing for two days and at around midnight on Wednesday, he met senior BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma.

Sarma tweeted that he had met the BPF candidate and he would join the saffron party.

BPF is an ally of the opposition Congress in Assam,where two out of the slated three phased poll got over on Thursday.

Basumatary told a local TV channel that he had decided to resign from BPF as the party did not lend any helping hand to him in terms of funds during the campaign.

Tamulpur constituency is in Baksa district under Bodoland Territorial Region and will go to the poll during the third phase on April 6.

Basumatary has said due to technicalities its not possible to withdraw from the contest now, but he would be supporting BJP's ally United Peoples Party Liberal (UPPL) nominee Leho Ram Boro on the seat.

Reacting to the development, Congress MP Manish Tiwari on Thursday said that Basumatary had gone missing due to threatening by BJP and lambasted the saffron party for it.

'Never in India did such immoral activities took place during elections. You (BJP) want to win the poll by wrong means. This is a fascist mentality and it is BJP's education.

'That party does not believe in democracy and democratic system. This is absolutely the worst spectre of fascism that is on display in the Assam polls,' he told a press conference here.

Tiwari demanded that the BJP government in the state tell the people what had happened to Basumatary for two days.

'I demand a detailed probe into the incident by Election Commission. How come such an incident took place in front of the EC? Is the EC blindfolded?' the Congress leader asked.

Meanwhile, sources said that Sarma has sent his reply to the poll panel on the matter. The content of his reply is, however, not immediately known. PTI TR SNS SNS