Asom Gana Parishad, BJP’s Assam Assembly election ally, today announced the first list of its 25 candidates for the hustings including the names of former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, former ministers and its president Atul Bora.
The regional party will also be announcing shortly the names of other candidates in those constituencies where it will have friendly contests with the BJP, AGP president Atul Bora told reporters here.
Read more from our special coverage on “ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS”
Polling in five states in April-May; Bengal will vote on seven days
Letters: Alliance pros and cons
Among the 25 contestants are former two-time chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta (Barhampur), ex-ministers Brindaban Goswami (Tezpur), Renupama Rajkhowa (Teok), Pradeep Hazarika (Amguri), Pabindra Deka (Patacharkuchi), Dr Kamala Kanta Kalita (Chaygaon), Ramendra Narayan Kalita (Guwahati West), Bora said.
The others in the list include sitting MLAs Binod Gowala (Sarupathar), Utpal Dutta (Lakhimpur), Prabin Hazarika (Bwiswanath), Phani Bhusan Choudhury (Bongaigaon), Bhupen Rai (Abhayapuri-North), Mukundaram Choudhury (Kalaigaon), Kesab Mahanta (Kaliabor).
Besides party president Atul Bora (Bokakhat), the others are Bhabendra Nath Bharali (Dergaon-SC), Naren Sonowal (Naharkatia), Dr Ali Azam Sheikh (Bilasipara-East), Rabin Banikya (Abhayapuri-South), Gunindra Nath Das (Barpeta), Jyotiprasad Das (Boko-SC), Satyabrata Kalita (Kamalpur), Habibur Rahman (Dalgaon), Ranjit Deka (Lahorighat) and Ziauddin Ahmed (Jamunamukh).
The contestants have been selected in the interest of the party and considering their winning possibility of seats as per reports given by survey done by the party, the AGP leader said.
Speaking about the AGP-BJP alliance, Atul Bora said “It was done in consideration of the present political scenario in Assam. There have been 15 years of lawlessness here under the Congress with the government failing to protect people’s life and property.”
“As we cannot form government on our own and the BJP invited us to join them for bringing a change the people have been wanting, we have come together to defeat Congress,” Bora asserted.
He said the AGP-BJP target to win 86 of the 126 Assembly seats by garnering the non-Congress votes.
The AGP president also appealed party workers who went away or have distanced themselves to set aside their differences and return to the party fold to strengthen it and help the party to win.
Today several persons, including former Director General of Police Dilip Bora, Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad former president Dilip Patgiri, actress Dorin Hazarika and writer Diwas Phookan joined AGP at the press meet.
The BJP had yesterday in Delhi announced the names of 88 candidates, including those of its chief ministerial candidate Sarbananda Sonowal, former Congress leader Himanta Biswa Sarma and Lok Sabha MP Kamakhya Prasad Tasha, who has been fielded against Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.
Sonowal, who presently represents Lakhimpur Parliamentary constituency in the Lok Sabha, will contest from Majuli, a reserved seat for ST, while Sarma has been fielded from Jalukbari which he represented as a Congress MLA until he moved to BJP last year.
Assam goes to the polls in two phases with 65 of the 126 constituencies in the first phase on April 4 and the rest 61 on April 11.