BJP starts election exercise in Assam

BJP starts election exercise in Assam, forms 16-member State Election Committee

The BJP is currently the single largest party in Assam Assembly with 60 MLAs

Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal. Credit: PTI file photo.

The ruling BJP has kickstarted its election process in Assam for the upcoming Assembly polls with the formation of a 16-member State Election Committee, party sources said Friday.

The Committee includes Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, North East Democratic Alliance convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma and the state BJP chief Ranjeet Kumar Dass, they said. The BJP has also formed two other important committees -- the 17-member State Core Committee and five-member State Disciplinary Action Committee, Dass said in separate notices. The election to the 126-member Assam Assembly is likely in March-April 2021 and BJP has set a target to win at least 100 seats with its allies.

The 2016 state polls gave a fractured mandate and no party got an absolute majority in the current assembly. Dass said that the State Election Committee has been formed on the approval of BJP national president J P Nadda.

The other members of the committee are Union Minister of State for Food Processing Rameswar Teli, Lok Sabha MP and BJP national general secretary Dilip Saikia and Assam cabinet ministers Chandra Mohan Patowary, Ranjit Dutta and Parimal Suklabaidya. Other members are Lok Sabha MP Rajdeep Roy and BJP members Bimal Oswal, Phanindra Nath Sarma, Aparajita Bhuyan and Biswajit Daimary, who recently joined the saffron party from its state ally the Bodoland People's Front, the notice said.

The three special invitees in the committee are BJP national vice-president Baijayant Jay Panda and senior leaders Pawan Sharma and Ajay Jamwal, it added. Dass, Sonowal, Sarma, Saikia, Suklabaidya, Roy, Daimary and Phanindra Nath Sarma are also members of the State Core Committee.

Panda, Sharma and Jamwal are the special invitee members in this committee too. The other members are Assam Minister Siddhartha Bhattacharya, MPs Queen Oja and Kamakhaya Prasad Tasa and senior leaders Ramen Deka, Rajen Gohain and Vijay Kumar Gupta, the notice said.

The BJP is currently the single largest party in Assam Assembly with 60 MLAs, while its allies Asom Gana Parishad and Bodoland People's Front have 14 and 12 lawmakers respectively. The ruling coalition also has the support of an Independent MLA. The opposition Congress has 22 MLAs, while All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) has 14 members in the House.