GUWAHATI: Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who has been named as the BJP candidate for the vacant Rajya Sabha seat from Assam, will file his nomination on September 21, the party's state unit president Bhabesh Kalita said here on Saturday.
Kalita, accompanied by party leaders Santanu Bharali and Binod Hazarika collected the nomination papers on behalf of the former chief minister from the state Assembly within a few hours of announcement of Sonowal's name as the party candidate in New Delhi.
Later talking to reporters Kalita said Sonowal will file his nomination for the Rajya Sabha election on September 21.
"Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and leaders of our allies, like AGP and UPPL will be present during it," he said.
Sonowal's road to Rajya Sabha is expected to be smooth as the BJP-led ruling coalition has an effective strength of 73 MLAs in the 126-member House.
Though BJP currently has 60 MLAs but effectively the number would be 59 since Sonowal, who was elected to the Assembly from Majuli earlier this year, is likely to resign as a legislator before polling for the upper house is held.
BJP's allies Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and United People's Party Liberation (UPPL) have nine and five MLAs respectively.
Five seats in the state Assembly are currently vacant and will increase to six following Sonowal's resignation.
The Rajya Sabha seat had fallen vacant following the election of the sitting MP Biswajit Daimary to the Assam Assembly.
Daimary is currently the Speaker of the Assembly.
The last date for filing of nomination for the Rajya Sabha election is September 22, while voting and counting of votes will be undertaken on October 4 as per the schedule announced by the Election Commission.
Assam sends seven representatives to the Rajya Sabha, out of which two are currently held by BJP and main opposition Congress, one each by NDA ally AGP and an Independent.