After Lok Sabha Polls, Political Parties in Assam eyes Rajya Sabha Seats

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Guwahati, May 7 (IANS) Following the completion of the Lok Sabha polls in Assam, parties in the state are now focussing on the two Rajya Sabha seats which are set to fall vacant next month.

The seats are held by senior Congress members, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and politician Santiuse Kujur. Their terms will come to an end on June 14.

According to sources, the Election Commission (EC) is likely to issue a notification soon for holding polls for the two seats.

The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) on the other hand, has reminded the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of an agreement that was inked between the two parties ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

The AGP supported the BJP in 10 Lok Sabha seats, while it contested on three seats. It was also agreed that one of the Rajya Sabha seats would be given to the AGP.

“There was an agreement ahead of the Lok Sabha polls that the BJP will give one Rajya Sabha seat to us. Accordingly, we fielded only three candidates in the general elections and helped the BJP candidates in 10 seats. Now the time has come to remind them about the agreement,” AGP General Secretary Ramendra Narayan Kalita told IANS on Tuesday.

Kalita’s statement assumes significance as BJP legislator from the Bokajan constituency, Numal Momin, had recently claimed that the saffron party will name nominees for the two seats.

Meanwhile, Congress is unlikely to field anyone this time as it does not have the required number to ensure the victory of its candidate, a senior party leader said.

“We do not have the required number to ensure victory even if we put up a candidate. So I think the party is going too refrain from putting up candidates for Rajya Sabha this time,” he added.

A candidate requires at least 43 first preference votes to win a Rajya Sabha seat. While the Congress has 25 legislators in the House, the All India United Democratic Front has 13 legislators.

The ruling BJP has 61 legislators in the 126-member Assam Legislative Assembly. Its allies, AGP and Bodoland Peoples Front (BPF) has 14 and 12 members, respectively. The BJP-led alliance also has the support of Independent legislators.

Assam’s 14 Lok Sabha Seats voted in three phases on April 11, April 18 and April 23. In 2014 General Elections, BJP won 7, All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) and Congress on 3 seats each while 1 seat goes to Independent Candidate.

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