GUWAHATI: Fulfilling a commitment, the BJP, which heads Assam’s three-party ruling coalition, has decided to send a candidate of ally Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) to the Rajya Sabha.
This assumes significance as the BJP has created suspense by not clearly spelling out whether it will align with the BPF in the upcoming Bodoland Territorial Council elections, scheduled for April.
Two Rajya Sabha seats from Assam are already lying vacant after Congress leaders Bhubaneswar Kalita and Sanjay Singh resigned. Both, in fact, joined the BJP. The term of the third member, Biswajit Daimary of the BPF, will expire soon.
Elections to the three Rajya Sabha seats from Assam will be held on March 26.
In the 126-member Assam Assembly, the BJP and its allies BPF and Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) together have 87 seats. Congress has 25 seats, All India United Democratic Front 13 and there is an independent.
BJP leader and Assam’s Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said it was certain that the BJP and its allies would win two seats.
“We will keep one seat with us and give another to the BPF as committed. There is no question of sending an AGP candidate to the Rajya Sabha from the second seat as we had sent one from the party last year,” Sarma told journalists.
“In the third seat, we have no role to play if the opposition parties unite. However, in case they find a problem in putting up a candidate, we will have a responsibility. As of now, we are not doing any arithmetic to win from that seat,” the minister said.
He added the BJP would contest in two other seats which would lie vacant at the end of the term of the current government next year.