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Consensus eludes State Opposition

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, March 13 � The opposition parties are yet to arrive at a consensus on a common candidate for the Rajya Sabha polls scheduled for March 26.

The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), Bharatiya Janata Party (JP) and the Assam United Democratic Front (AUDF) held a series of meetings in the last few days even as time is running out for filing of nominations for the elections to two Rajya Sabha seats. March 16 is the last date for filing of nomination papers for the Rajya Sabha polls.

As per the floor strength of the parties, the AGP, the main opposition party, is not in a position to ensure victory of its candidate without the support of both the BJP and AUDF and the regional party has sought the support of both the parties to ensure victory of its candidate in one of the two seats. Two Rajya Sabha seats from Assam will fall vacant in April as the terms of Silvious Condpan and Anowara Taimur will expire. The Opposition can ensure victory of at least one candidate if they can get together, but consensus is still eluding them.

AGP sources said that the party is keen on fielding its own candidate for the seat and the party is holding a series of meetings with the BJP and AUDF. However, the AGP has not yet finalized its candidate for the seat. Several senior members of the party including former MP Sarbananda Sonowal, former Ministers Hiranya Konwar and Durgadas Boro, party spokesman Atul Bora (Junior) and others have sought party ticket to contest the Rajya Sabha polls and the party is still undecided on the candidature. One newspaper owner of the state has also reportedly sought AGP nomination for the Rajya Sabha seat but AGP sources said that the party is likely to give nomination to one of its party members.

On the other hand, the BJP wanted to field its own candidate as it had supported the AGP in the Rajya Sabha polls before. But the party has not yet announced its candidate and AGP is hoping to get the support of the BJP.

Meanwhile, PCG member Hiranya Saikia has sought the support of AGP, BJP and AUDF as he is keen on contesting the Rajya Sabha polls as a consensus candidate. Saikia, who took nomination forms from the State Assembly Secretariat, said that he had talks with leaders of the AGP, BJP and AUDF and he would like to contest the election if the opposition parties decide to support him as the consensus candidate.

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