GUWAHATI, May 6 - With the Election Commission (EC) expected to soon announce the notification for polls to two Rajya Sabha seats of Assam, junior NDA constituent Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) has made it clear that it will put up its candidate for one of the two upcoming vacancies.
�During our negotiations with the BJP for renewal of the alliance in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls, the leadership of the BJP had promised to spare one Rajya Sabha berth for us from among the upcoming vacancies,� AGP general secretary Ramendra Narayan Kalita told The Assam Tribune today.
�AGP will contest one of the seats in the Rajya Sabha polls. That is for sure,� he said.
Kalita, however, added that AGP had not held any discussion on the issue during recent days.
�All of us were busy with the Lok Sabha elections. But we will now get in touch with the BJP in a day or two to discuss the Rajya Sabha matter,� he said.
The AGP leaders added that the regional party is not going to compromise on the issue.
�There was a gentleman�s agreement on the matter. Such agreements are arrived at on the basis of mutual confidence,� Kalita said. Asked about AGP�s likely nominee for the Rajya Sabha polls, Kalita said the matter is yet to be formally discussed within the party.
The terms of former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Santiuse Kujur, both Rajya Sabha members of the Congress party from Assam, will end on June 14.
In the 126-member Assam Legislative Assembly, the BJP has 61 MLAs, while its allies AGP and BPF have 14 and 12 legislators respectively. The ruling coalition also has the support of the lone Independent MLA in the Assembly.
On the other hand, among the Opposition benches, the Congress has 25 MLAs and the AIUDF has 13 legislators.
A candidate will need at least 43 first preference votes to win a Rajya Sabha seat. If the constituents of the ruling alliance field joint candidates, then they will be able to win both seats easily.