New Delhi: The BJP on Friday announced the first list of 70 candidates for the Assembly elections in Assam. The 126-member Assam Assembly will go to the polls in three phases on March 27, April 1 and April 6. The results will be declared on May 2.
The list includes the names of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, senior minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and the party's state unit chief Ranjeet Kumar Dass, who will contest from Patacharkuchi instead of Sorbhog from where he had won last time.
Notably, in the first list of 70 candidates, the BJP denied tickets to 11 sitting MLAs. Announcing the names of party candidates, BJP national General Secretary Arun Singh said that the party has given tickets to 11 new faces.
Chief Minister Sonowal will contest from Majuli (ST) while Sarma has been fielded from Jalukbari, the constituencies from where they had won the last time.
IANS had earlier reported that Sarma will be fielded by the BJP despite his desire not to contest the polls. After the announcement of his candidature, Sarma said that as a BJP worker, he will follow the party's direction.
While Majuli will go to the polls on March 27 in the first phase, polling in Jalukbari will be held in the third and last phase on April 6.
Singh said the list includes four SC and 11 ST candidates.
Among the 70 BJP candidates named in the first list, Angoorlata Deka from Batadroba, Ajanta Neog from Golaghat, Surabhi Rajkonwar from Sibsagar and Nandita Garlosa from Haflong (ST) are women.
Singh said that on Thursday, the BJP's Central Election Committee at its meeting chaired by BJP chief J.P. Nadda and held in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union ministers Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari, had finalised the names after a detailed discussion.
Meanwhile, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) President Atul Bora said that his party is part of the NDA and will contest the upcoming Assembly polls along with the BJP and other alliance partners.
When asked why Dass has been shifted to a new constituency, Sarma said that it has been done on the demand of the party workers.
"The party workers demanded that Dass should contest from Patacharkuchi," Sarma said.
Sonowal said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi, the Assam government has worked for 'Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikash'.
"Justice and respect to all was ensured in the last five years. We are confident of serving the state for another term with the blessing and love of the people," Sonowal said.
Dass claimed that the BJP with its alliance partners will win over 100 seats in the Assembly polls.
In Assan, the BJP is contesting 92 seats while its alliance partners AGP is contesting 26 seats and the United People's Party Liberal (UPPL) is contesting eight seats.