BJP, Allies Agree on Assam Seat-sharing After Meet with Shah, Nadda; Announcement Soon
The BJP and its two Assam allies — the AGP and the UPPL — on Wednesday “almost finalised” their seat-sharing pact for the Assam assembly polls and a formal announcement will be made in a day or two, sources said. The “agreement on 99 per cent” of the seats has been reached at a high-level meeting attended by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP President JP Nadda, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal at Shah’s residence, the sources said.
BJP’s state unit chief Ranjit Dass, AGP president and state minister Atul Bora, UPPL chief Pramod Boro, BJP leader and state minister Himanta Biswa Sarma also attended the meeting. A formal announcement on the number of seats each party will contest will be made in a day or two, the sources said.
While the AGP, which won 14 constituencies in the 2016 assembly elections, may get around 25 seats to contest, the UPPL, which is a new partner of the BJP and does not have any MLA now, is expected to get around 12 seats to contest, the sources said. The BJP, which had won 60 seats in 2016, will contest the rest of the constituencies.
The BPF, which was part of the BJP-led alliance, had won 12 seats in 2016. The BPF is no longer an alliance partner of the BJP and the regional party had recently joined the opposition Congress-led ‘Mahajoot’.
Assam has 126 assembly constituencies. After the joint meeting, the BJP leaders met separately at the residence of Nadda to scrutinise the list of the party’s candidates for the polls.
The BJP Central Election Committee, comprising top leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is likely to meet on Thursday to approve the first list of candidates. The three-phased Assam assembly polls will be held on March 27, April 1 and April 6. In the first phase, 47 constituencies will go for polls, in the second phase, polling will be held in 39 constituencies and in the third phase, polling will be held in 40 constituencies.
The last date for filing nominations for the first phase is March 9, the last date for filing nominations for the second phase is March 12 and the last date for filing nominations for the third phase is March 19. While chief minister Sonowal’s Majuli and AGP president Bora’s Bokakhat constituencies will go for polling in the first phase, minister Sarma’s Jalukbari and Assam BJP chief Dass’ current seat Sarbhog will go for polling in the third phase.
The UPPL president Boro is the chief executive member of the Bodoland Territorial Council, an autonomous body created under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution, comprising the Bodo tribal dominated areas of Assam.