GUWAHATI, Jan 28 � In all, four nomination papers for the three Rajya Sabha (RS) seats of the State have been filed. Today was the last date for filing nomination papers for elections to these Rajya Sabha seats.
Principal Secretary of the State Assembly Gauranga Prasad Das, who is also the Returning Officer for this election, which is slated for February 7, told this newspaper that today three candidates � Sanjay Singh and Bhubaneswar Kalita of the Congress and senior journalist Haidar Hussain supported by the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), filed their nomination papers.
Yesterday, Biswajit Daimari, nominee of the Bodoland People�s Front (BPF), an ally of the Congress, filed his nomination papers.
The filing of nomination papers by Haidar Hussain as a common candidate of the Opposition is expected to create problems for the Congress and its ally, who were confident of a smooth sailing of their candidates in case the Opposition fails to field a common candidate.
However, Chief Whip of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP), Minister Nilamani Sen Deka told this newspaper that his party is still sure that its candidates and the candidate of its alliance partner BPF would win all the RS seats.
Haidar Hussain�s supporters AIUDF, AGP and BJP are also optimistic of the victory of their common candidate.
AGP Legislature Party Leader Phani Bhusan Choudhury told this newspaper that to win the RS seat, the common candidate of the Opposition requires 32 votes (that is,-- a quota of 3,125; here one vote is equal to 100). The Opposition has 32 votes (AIUDF 18, AGP nine and BJP five). Meanwhile, efforts are on to garner the support of the lone Trinamool Congress MLA to ensure Hussain�s win, Choudhury said.
BJP Legislature Party Leader Prasanta Phukan said that his party changed its stance on the RS elections when Haidar Hussain approached the party this morning. The BJP had earlier announced that its legislators would abstain the RS elections.
Phukan said his party has decided to extend support to Hussain considering the greater interest of the State. Hussain is a secular candidate and the BJP has decided to extend its support to his candidature going by the precedence of the party supporting the candidature of A P J Abdul Kalam for the post of President of India, Phukan said.