Assam bypolls: BJP, ally confident of winning all seats

BJP, ally UPPL confident of winning all seats in Assam bypolls

A total of 31 candidates are in the fray for bye-elections in Thowra, Mariani, Bhawanipur, Gossaigaon and Tamulpur constituencies

Representative image. Credit: Reuters file photo

The ruling BJP and its ally, United People's Party Liberal (UPPL) are confident of bagging all five Assembly seats in Assam, bye-elections for which is scheduled on Saturday (October 30).

A total of 31 candidates are in the fray for bye-elections in Thowra, Mariani, Bhawanipur, Gossaigaon and Tamulpur constituencies.

In the Assembly elections held in March-April, Congress had won Thowra and Mariani seats while its former allies, AIUDF and Bodoland People's Front (BPF) bagged Bhawanipur and Gossaigaon seats respectively. UPPL candidate won in Tamulpur.

Bye-elections in Thowra, Mariani and Bhawanipur was necessitated after the Congress and AIUDF MLAs, Sushanta Borgohain, Rupjyoti Kurmi (both Congress) and Phani Talukdar (AIUDF) switched over to BJP. Gossaigaon and Tamulpur seat fell vacant after the sitting MLAs died recently.

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"We are expecting a contest only in Bhawanipur from AIUDF. I hope BJP-UPPL candidates will easily win in the four seats," Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told reporters in Guwahati.

Campaigning for the bye-elections concluded on Wednesday.

Seven opposition parties including Congress, AIUDF and BPF had formed the "grand alliance" and contested the Assembly elections together. But BJP and its allies, UPPL and Asom Gana Parishad formed the government in May for the second consecutive term. BPF was an ally of BJP in 2016 elections but the party quit the ruling alliance as BJP joined hands with UPPL in December last year.

BJP won 59 of 126 Assembly seats while AGP and UPPL bagged nine and five seats respectively. Congress won 29 seats but two MLAs switched over to the ruling party.

Newly appointed president of Assam Pradesh Congress Committee, Bhupen Kumar Borah exuded confidence of retaining Thowra and Mariani and doing better in other three, stating that people were angry over BJP-led government's failure to contain prices and create jobs.

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