GUWAHATI: Former Assam chief minister and Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) MLA Prafulla Mahanta was not given a ticket to contest from Barhampur in the ensuing Assam polls as BJP and its ally AGP declared the first list of its 70 candidates for the state polls slated on March 27, April 1 and April 6 on Friday.
Out of the total 126 seats in the state, BJP has left 26 seats for its ally AGP and eight for United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL).
Mahanta, two-time former chief minister, was winning from Barhampur seat in every single election since 1985. However, his candidature came under threat after the former CM rebelled against the BJP led alliance’s decision of bringing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
From Barhampur, the alliance has nominated BJP’s Jitu Goswami to contest in the ensuing poll.
Sources close to Mahanta said that it was expected and the veteran leader might walk out of the alliance and contest the election from AGP (Progressive), a faction of AGP earlier headed by Mahanta. Already Assam Congress president Ripun Bora disclosed that Mahanta has contacted him.
Assam’s senior cabinet minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “AGP had contested in 27 seats in 2016 but this time they have given up the Patacharkuchi seat for BJP’s state president Ranjeet Kumar Dass to contest.” Das was elected from Sorbhog in 2016.
BJP has also brought new faces in at least 11 seats in the state so far.
Sarma who had earlier hinted of not contesting in the ensuing polls was also been named as BJP’s candidate once again from the city’s Jalukbari seat, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal to contest from Majuli seat like 2016 while BJP MP Biswajit Daimary to contest from Paneri. Senior Congress leader Ajanta Neog who recently joined the saffron camp is also to contest from Golaghat seat.
The entire first list of candidates here :