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BJP flooded with candidature pleas

By PRANJAL BHUYAN

GUWAHATI, Aug 23 - The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has received close to 80 applications so far from its leaders and cadres seeking party candidature to contest the forthcoming bypolls from four legislative Assembly constituencies of Assam.

�We have received 79 applications in total so far from interested members of the party seeking nomination for contesting the by-elections from the four constituencies. The highest number of applications for nomination has come for the Jania seat. As many as 34 persons have expressed interest in fighting the bypoll from Jania under the BJP symbol,� a senior office-bearer of the ruling party told The Assam Tribune.

In addition, 25 applications seeking party ticket have been received for the Sonari constituency, 11 for the Rangapara seat and nine for Ratabari constituency.

These seats fell vacant after the legislators representing them got elected to the Lok Sabha in the recent Parliamentary polls and resigned from the Assembly.

Kripanath Mallah (Ratabari constituency), Pallab Lochan Das (Rangapara) and Topon Kumar Gogoi (Sonari), all from the BJP, besides Abdul Khaleque of Congress (Jania constituency) vacated their Assembly seats after getting elected to the Lok Sabha.

BJP sources added that the final selection of nominees is expected before the Durga Puja, i.e., in early October.

�Bypolls to these seats are expected by October end or in the first half of November. Our party is likely to announce its candidates before the Durga Puja with a view to ensure that the nominees get adequate time to campaign in the field,� added a party leader.

Meanwhile, on being contacted, State BJP general secretary and Lok Sabha MP Dilip Saikia said that the saffron party will contest the bypolls from all the four constituencies.

�It is hundred per cent sure that we will field candidates from all four seats. After all, in the last Assembly polls held in 2016, we had won from Ratabari, Rangapara and Sonari seats. In addition, we had also fielded our own candidate from Jania under the seat-sharing arrangement with our allies in the last elections. There is no reason to alter the arrangement. However, we will coordinate with our allies and we are confident of securing their support,� he said.

Asked about the high number of applications received from Jania constituency, which is minority dominated, Saikia said that it reflects the changing trend in Assam�s politics.

�The social welfare schemes of the BJP governments both at the Centre and the State have benefited the minorities at par with other communities. That is why we received very positive response in the minority-dominated areas of the State during our party�s recent drive to recruit new primary members. Minorities have realised that the Congress and the other Opposition parties have been using them as mere �vote banks� over the years. On the other hand, under the BJP�s rule, the minorities are equal stakeholders in all aspects. That is why we have seen so much enthusiasm for party nomination in a constituency like Jania,� he said.

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BJP flooded with candidature pleas

GUWAHATI, Aug 23 - The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has received close to 80 applications so far from its leaders and cadres seeking party candidature to contest the forthcoming bypolls from four legislative Assembly constituencies of Assam.

�We have received 79 applications in total so far from interested members of the party seeking nomination for contesting the by-elections from the four constituencies. The highest number of applications for nomination has come for the Jania seat. As many as 34 persons have expressed interest in fighting the bypoll from Jania under the BJP symbol,� a senior office-bearer of the ruling party told The Assam Tribune.

In addition, 25 applications seeking party ticket have been received for the Sonari constituency, 11 for the Rangapara seat and nine for Ratabari constituency.

These seats fell vacant after the legislators representing them got elected to the Lok Sabha in the recent Parliamentary polls and resigned from the Assembly.

Kripanath Mallah (Ratabari constituency), Pallab Lochan Das (Rangapara) and Topon Kumar Gogoi (Sonari), all from the BJP, besides Abdul Khaleque of Congress (Jania constituency) vacated their Assembly seats after getting elected to the Lok Sabha.

BJP sources added that the final selection of nominees is expected before the Durga Puja, i.e., in early October.

�Bypolls to these seats are expected by October end or in the first half of November. Our party is likely to announce its candidates before the Durga Puja with a view to ensure that the nominees get adequate time to campaign in the field,� added a party leader.

Meanwhile, on being contacted, State BJP general secretary and Lok Sabha MP Dilip Saikia said that the saffron party will contest the bypolls from all the four constituencies.

�It is hundred per cent sure that we will field candidates from all four seats. After all, in the last Assembly polls held in 2016, we had won from Ratabari, Rangapara and Sonari seats. In addition, we had also fielded our own candidate from Jania under the seat-sharing arrangement with our allies in the last elections. There is no reason to alter the arrangement. However, we will coordinate with our allies and we are confident of securing their support,� he said.

Asked about the high number of applications received from Jania constituency, which is minority dominated, Saikia said that it reflects the changing trend in Assam�s politics.

�The social welfare schemes of the BJP governments both at the Centre and the State have benefited the minorities at par with other communities. That is why we received very positive response in the minority-dominated areas of the State during our party�s recent drive to recruit new primary members. Minorities have realised that the Congress and the other Opposition parties have been using them as mere �vote banks� over the years. On the other hand, under the BJP�s rule, the minorities are equal stakeholders in all aspects. That is why we have seen so much enthusiasm for party nomination in a constituency like Jania,� he said.