Monday, September 20, 2021
North East

Seat-sharing talks gain pace in ruling and opposition camps in Assam


Guwahati, March 1: Political parties in Assam were on Monday engaged in hectic parleys with their respective allies on seat-sharing with the notification for the first phase of polls to 47 of the total 126 assembly constituencies is scheduled to be issued Tuesday,

The BJP and its ally Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) met at the residence of the saffron party’s state president Ranjeet Kumar Dass and held preliminary discussions on seat-sharing.
Besides Dass, the meeting was attended by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma, BJP national general secretary Dilip Saikia and the party’s state general secretary organisation Phanindra Nath Sarma.
The AGP was represented by its president Atul Bora and ministers Keshab Mahanta and Phanibhushan Choudhury along with Rajya Sabha MP Birendra Prasad Baishya.
Dass said that the talks were preliminary and the final decision regarding distribution of seats among the ruling coalition partners will be taken by the BJP’s national executive.
The BJP’s third ally United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) is expected to contest from the assembly constituencies in the Bodoland Territorial Region which goes to polls in the second and the third phases.
The list of candidates for the first phase of polls is expected to be announced by March five, Dass added.
Among the ruling coalition, the BJP had fielded candidates on 89 seats in Assam in the last assembly elections and won 60, while AGP fought on 30 seats and romped home in 14 constituencies in 2016.
BPF which has now crossed over to the opposition grouping had put up its nominees in alliance with the BJP and the AGP in 13 places and emerged victorious on 12 seats then.
The newly formed Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) and the Raijor Dal (RD) also held talks on seat-sharing but it was yet to be finalised, an AJP party spokesperson said.
AJP President Lurinjyoti Gogoi met jailed RD Chief Akhil Gogoi at the Gauhati Medical College Hospital (GMCH) to discuss the seat allotment and they are expected to announce the list of candidates for the first phase by March four or five.
Discussions are being held by the Grand Alliance comprising the Congress, AIUDF, Bodoland People’s Front (BPF), CPI, CPI(M), CPI(ML) and Anchalik Gana Morcha (AGM).
The Congress president Monday constituted a nine-member screening committee for the Assam assembly elections with Prithviraj Chavan as Chairman and Kamleswar Patel and Dipika Pandey Singh as members.
The ex-officio members are AICC General Secretary Incharge of the state Jitendra Singh, state unit president Ripun Bora, Congress Legislature Party leader Debabrata Saikia and AICC secretaries Anirudh Singh, Prithviraj Prabhakar Sathe and Vikas Upadhyay.
In the opposition camp, Congress, AIUDF and others had contested the 2016 Assam polls separately.
Congress had fieled candidates in 122 constituencies and bagged 26 seats last time, while AIUDF secured 13 seats out of a total of 74 constituencies it had put up its nominees in the state then.

The CPI and CPI(M) had contested over a dozen seats in the northeastern state last time but scored a duck.
The last date of nominations for the first phase for the 47 constituencies, mostly in Upper Assam and North Bank districts, is March nine and polling will be held on March 27.
The notification for the 39 constituencies in the second phase of polls on April one will be issued on March five while for the third and the final phase polling on April six notification will come out on March 12. (PTI)