Guwahati, Oct 16: Altogether 31 contestants are in the fray after withdrawal of nomination on Saturday for the upcoming by-election in five Assam Assembly constituencies on October 30, a state Election Department release said here.
Eight candidates withdrew their papers leaving 31 in the electoral contest for Gossaigaon, Bhabanipur, Tamulpur, Mariani and Thowra constituencies. The candidates who withdrew their nomination include three from Tamulpur constituency and five from Gossaigaon, said the release. The contesting candidates for Gossaigaon seat are Jowel Tudu (INC), Jiron Basumatary (UPPL), Dhruba Kumar Brahma Narzary (BPF), Khairul Anam Khandakar (AIUDF), besides Uttam Kumar Talukdar, Kamal Roy, Osman Gani Sk and Abdul Hashem Akand (all Independents).
For Bhabanipur seat, the candidates in the fray are Phanidhar Talukdar(BJP), Sailendra Nath Das (INC), Jubbar Ali (AIUDF), Merijul Haque (Road Map Party), Siben Das (Voters Party International), besides Shawkat Ali Ahmed, Khampha Khungur Goyary and Ariful Islam (all Independents). The contestants in the Tamulpur constituency are Bhaskar Dahal (INC), Brajendra Nath Deka (Gana Suraksha Party), Jolen Daimary (UPPL), Raj Kumar Baro (VPI), besides Ganesh Kachary and Yaswanta Chauhan (both Independents).
In Mariani seat the candidates are Rupjyoti Kurmi (BJP), Luhit Konwar (INC), Gopal Chandra Ghatuwar (Asom Sangrami Mancha) and Sanjib Gogoi (Independent). In Thowra the contestants are Sushanta Borgohain (BJP), Monuranjan Konwar (INC), Krishna Gogoi (CPI), besides Dhaijya Konwar and Lohit Gowala (both Independents).
By-polls in Gossaigaon and Tamulpur have been necessitated due to death of the sitting MLAs, while the incumbents of Bhapanipur, Mariani and Thowra resigned from their seats to join the ruling BJP.
Gossaigaon seat was won by the UPPL in this year's state election, while BPF had bagged Tamulpur. Mariani and Thowra had Congress MLAs, while Bhabanipur was cornered by AIUDF. Counting of votes will be taken up on November 2 and the entire polling process will be completed by November 5.
In the 126-member House, the ruling BJP has 59 MLAs, its allies Asom Gana Parishad and United People's Party Liberal have nine and five MLAs each, respectively. The Congress has 27, AIUDF 15, Bodoland People's Front three and CPI(M) one MLA, besides an Independent also.
Union minister Sarbananda Sonowal has vacated his seat following his recent election to the Rajya Sabha but the Election Commission of India has not yet announced a by-election to his Majuli seat.