Campaigning ends for by-polls in 5 Assam assembly seats


Guwahati: Campaigning ended on Wednesday in the five assembly constituencies of Assam where by-elections will be held on October 30.

The by-polls will be conducted in Gossaigaon, Bhabanipur, Tamulpur, Mariani and Thowra seats. Campaigning came to end at 5 pm. The ruling BJP has fielded its candidates in three seats leaving the other two to alliance partner UPPL. The Congress put up nominees in all the five, while its former allies, the AIUDF and the BPF, are contesting in two and one seats respectively.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, his predecessor and Union minister Sarbananda Sonowal canvassed for BJP and UPPL candidates. Senior leaders of the Congress including national general secretary Jitendra Singh and state president Bhupen Bora campaigned for their respective nominees. Altogether 31 contestants are in the fray in the five seats. Their electoral fate will be decided by 7.96 lakh voters. Voting will take place from 7 am to 5 pm while counting will be held on November 2.

The poll results, however, will not affect the composition of the government. The prominent contestants include Rupjyoti Kurmi, Sushanta Borgohain, Phanidhar Talukdar (all BJP); Luhit Konwar and Jowel Tudu (both Congress); Jubbar Ali and Khairul Anam Khandakar (both AIUDF) and Jiron Basumatary of the UPPL.

In the 126-seat House, the ruling BJP has 59 MLAs, its allies AGP and UPPL nine and five MLAs each, respectively. The opposition Congress has 27, AIUDF 15, BPF three and CPI(M) one MLA, besides an Independent legislator. By-polls in Gossaigaon and Tamulpur were necessitated due to the death of the sitting MLAs, while the incumbents of Bhabanipur, Mariani and Thowra resigned from their seats to join the ruling BJP.

Gossaigaon seat was won by the Bodo People’s Front (BPF) in the March-April Assembly election, while the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) had bagged Tamulpur. Mariani and Thowra had Congress MLAs, while Bhabanipur was cornered by AIUDF. (PTI)