GUWAHATI, May 28 - BJP�s Kamakhya Prasad Tasa and AGP�s Birendra Prasad Baishya today filed their nominations for the two Rajya Sabha seats that will fall vacant in June and the NDA nominees appeared set to get elected unopposed with the opposition Congress and AIUDF staying away from the contest. The last date of filing nomination was 3 pm of May 28 � that is today.
The scrutiny of nomination papers will be conducted tomorrow at the office of the returning officer at the State Assembly, while May 31 is the last date of withdrawal of the nomination. The election is scheduled for June 7.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, NEDA convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma, AGP president Atul Bora and other senior leaders of the alliance accompanied Tasa and Baishya when they submitted their nomination papers to the returning officer at the State Assembly.
After filing their nomination papers, both Tasa and Baishya expressed their gratitude towards leaders of their parties and the alliance partners.
Sonowal hoped that both Tasa and Baishya will play a strong role towards speedy development of the State.
Even though the AIUDF has earlier floated the idea of putting up an apolitical candidate if the Congress agreed, both the opposition parties later decided not to field any, apparently because they do not have the required numbers in the Legislative Assembly.
A candidate will need at least 43 �first preference votes� to win a Rajya Sabha seat in Assam. 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. The Congress has 25 MLAs and the AIUDF has 13 legislators.
A former leader of the Assam Tea Tribes Students Association, 44-year-old Tasa was elected to the 16th Lok Sabha from Jorhat. In the recently concluded elections to the 17th Lok Sabha, the BJP nominated Sonari MLA and former AASU leader Topon Kumar Gogoi from Jorhat and he emerged as the winner.
On the other hand, 63-year-old Baishya was a member of the 11th Lok Sabha from Mangaldai and a Union minister for steel and mines. In 2008, he was elected to the Rajya Sabha and had been a member of several Central government committees.
The elections to the two seats have been necessitated because 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.