A total of 345 contestants, including four ministers and the deputy speaker, are in the fray for 39 constituencies going to polls in the second of the three-phased Assam Assembly elections on April 1. Altogether 649 nominations have been filed, out of which 30 of them were rejected and 33 withdrawn on the last date of withdrawal on Wednesday for the second phase, the state’s Chief Electoral Officer said.
Some candidates have submitted multiple nomination papers for the same constituency. Prominent candidates from the BJP include ministers Parimal Suklabaidya (Dholai), Bhabesh Kalita (Rangia), Pijush Hazarika (Jagiroad) and Deputy Speaker Aminul Haque Laskar (Sonai).
Former Deputy Speaker Dilip Kumar Paul, who resigned from the BJP after he was denied ticket, is contesting as an Independent from Silchar. The BJP earlier in the day expelled Paul and 14 other leaders from the party for six years with immediate effect for ”anti-party activities”.
Meanwhile, for the first phase of elections on March 27, there are 267 contestants in 47 constituencies, including Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal (Majuli). Elections to the 126-member Assam Assembly will be held in three phases on March 27, April 1 and April 6.