RAJYA SABHA ELECTIONS TODAY
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, March 20: The stage is set for elections to the two Rajya Sabha seats from Assam slated for Monday, but with Opposition parties keeping their cards close to the chest, it is still not clear which way the dice will roll.
While Congress’ first preference candidate Ripun Bora is poised to win, the fates of the party’s second preference candidate Ranee rah and Independent nominee Mahabir Jain are caught up in the murky politics triggered by denial of tickets to sitting legislators by some parties.
Even though the numbers favor the ruling party, the role of Congress MLAs Amiya Gogoi, Sarat Saikia and Abdul Muhib Mazumdar who have been denied tickets for the assembly elections are being keenly watched.
The BJP has also denied tickets to two sitting legislators - Jadav Deka and Monoranjan Das, while the AGP has left out Prabin Hazarika from the party candidates list.
A number of AGP MLAs are also likely to be in their constituencies tomorrow to file nomition papers for the assembly elections.
None of the Opposition parties have so far spelt out their strategy for the Rajya Sabha elections.
“The AIUDF legislature party will meet tomorrow morning and decide,” tweeted Badruddin Ajmal.
The Chief Minister was hopeful of both the Congress candidates winning. He indicated that five AIUDF legislators who have been denied tickets for the assembly elections were “in touch” with the Congress.
Senior minister Rakibul Hussain also said, “Both the Congress candidates are winning. It’s fil.”
Given the effective strength of the present assembly - 114, a candidate needs 39 votes to win if all the MLAs cast their votes. In the event of anyone abstaining, the required votes will come down.
The elections to the two Upper House seats from Assam have been necessitated as the terms of sitting MPs Pankaj Bora and zneen Faruque expire on April 2.
Polling will begin at 9 am tomorrow and end at 5 pm. Counting will be held in the evening.