New Delhi: The BJP and its two alliance partners in Assam — the AGP and UPPL — have finalised their seat-sharing arrangements in 86 Assembly segments where polling will be held mostly in the first and second phase, BJP state unit chief Ranjit Dass said on Thursday night.
Assam has 126 assembly constituencies where elections will be held in three phases, on March 27, April 1 and April 6.
“The BJP and its allies have finalised the seat-sharing arrangements. I am not disclosing now the number of seats each party will contest as our alliance partners have to sort out some of their internal issues,” Dass told reporters here after meetings with the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), United People’s Party Liberal as well as the BJP top brass.
The BJP state unit chief said his party will announce its own candidates for the first two phases soon. However, the party has not finalised candidates in 12 seats for the time being and has kept them pending, he said.
Asked whether Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal will again be projected as the chief ministerial candidate for the coming assembly polls, the BJP state unit president said the party does not make such an announcement where it has its own government.
“We project a chief ministerial candidate where we don’t have our own government. Where we have our own government, we don’t make such an announcement,” he said.
Before the 2016 assembly elections, when Congress was in power, Sonowal was projected as the chief ministerial candidate by the BJP.
The BJP Central Election Committee, comprising top leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also met on Thursday to approve the list of party candidates for Assam.
In the first of the three phases, 47 constituencies will go for polls. In the second phase, polling will be held in 39 constituencies and in the third phase, 40 constituencies.
The last date for filing of nomination for the first phase is March 9, for the second phase it is March 12 and for the third phase, the last date of submitting nomination papers is March 19.
In the 2016 Assembly polls, the BJP won 60 seats and the AGP 14. The UPPL is a new partner of the BJP and does not have any MLA now.
The Bodoland People’s Front (BPF), which was part of the BJP-led alliance, had won 12 seats in 2016. It is no longer an alliance partner of the BJP and recently joined the opposition Congress-led ”Mahajoot”. PTI