Guwahati: All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) and the Congress have nominated senior journalist Ajit Kumar Bhuyan as Rajya Sabha candidate from the state for the third seat.
The Rajya Sabha polls will be held on March 26 from 9 am to 4 pm.
Senior journalist Bhuyan has taken an active part in the anti-Citizenship Act (CAA) protest in the state. His active participation in the CAA protest has turned out as one of the major points for AIUDF to consider him as a Rajya Sabha candidate.
According to reports, the Congress and AIUDF have decided that the common Rajya Sabha candidate should be from a non-political background and someone who is actively taking part against the new citizenship law in the state. That makes a good case for Bhuyan who has collected the required form of nomination paper from the Returning Officer for the Rajya Sabha election.
Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Ripun Bora has said that they will support Bhuyan in the national interest while addressing a press conference at New Delhi on Wednesday.
State finance minister Himanata Biswa Sharma of the BJP said, " It is very unfortunate that Bhuyan will be backed by AIUDF and Congress. It is only for the power that he has taken such a step."
The ensuing Rajya Sabha election in the State has gathered momentum with hectic activities among political parties and candidates.
So far, nine aspirants have collected the forms of nomination papers from the Returning Officer for the Rajya Sabha election.
While Bhubaneswar Kalita, Satyendra Prasad Deka, Subhas Dutta and Abdul Rezzak collected their forms on Tuesday, Ajit Kumar Bhuyan, Biswajit Daimary, Kazi Nekib Ahmed, Sapatoon Begum and Moitree Sarma had collected the forms earlier. Daimary has informed the Returning Officer that he would file the nomination paper on Wednesday.
On the other hand, senior Supreme Court of India advocate and convenor of Prabrajan Birodhi Mancha Upamanyu Hazarika has expressed displeasure over senior journalist Bhuyan’s decision to contest the Rajya Sabha poll on the support of the Congress and the AIUDF. Criticizing Bhuyan the senior advocate said, “He (Bhuyan) said that he would contest the election on the support of the (Assamese)nationalistic forces. But how could be the Congress and the AIUDF national force of Assam?” Mr. Hazarika also termed Bhuyan’s decision as unfortunate.
The last date for filing of nomination papers is March 13. The scrutiny of nomination papers is on March 16, and the last date of withdrawal of nomination papers is March 18. The Electoral College has strength of 124 MLAs at present. Two Assembly seats are now lying vacant following the deaths of former Speaker of Assam Legislative Assembly and Sivasagar MLA Pranab Gogoi and Tezpur MLA Rajen Borthakur. The election will be held against three vacant seats in the Rajya Sabha. The BJP has 60 MLAs followed by 23 Congress, 14 each by AGP and AIUDF, 12 BPF and 1 independent. If all 124 MLAs cast their votes on March 26, a candidate will require 32 votes to win the election. The Rajya Sabha election has been necessitated after the seats earlier held by Biswajit Daimary, Bhubaneswar Kalita and Sanjay Singh fell vacant.