No withdrawals, all three candidates in fray


By Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, March 14: With none of three candidates withdrawing their nomitions, the stage is set for elections to the two Rajya Sabha seats from Assam on March 21.

Today was the last date of withdrawal of nomition.

The Congress has nomited Ripun Bora as its first preference and Rani rah as second preference candidate.

Businessman Mahavir Jain, backed by ten BPF MLAs, has also jumped into the fray in what he said was a “sudden decision.”

The Congress currently has 68 legislators in the 126-member house with ten of its former members, who joined the BJP last year, disqualified from the Assembly.

With AIUDF’s Sherman Ali and Ataur Rehman Majhar Bhuyan joining the Congress recently, the strength of the party has risen to 70. Two independents – Jatin Mali and Javed Islam – are also likely to vote in favor of the Congress candidates.

However, the Opposition has a total strength of 41 MLAs, two more that the required number of votes to win which is 39.

Though the AIUDF had earlier said it would abstain from voting, a senior party leader later clarified that the party is yet to take a call on the matter. If the AIUDF abstains, the Congress will sail through easily with both its candidates.

The AGP had also said that it might vote in favour of an independent candidate “who is connected to the soil of Assam”.

The past Rajya Sabha elections in the State had witnessed high drama amidst charges of horse-trading and cross-voting.

Elections to the Rajya Sabha were necessitated following the scheduled retirement of two Congress members znin Faruque and Pankaj Bora on April 2 next.

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