AJP announces candidate for Majuli by-poll

Guwahati, Feb 15 (PTI) The opposition Assam Jatiya Parishad on Tuesday announced Chittaranjan Basumatary as its candidate for the Majuli (Scheduled Tribe) constituency, where by-poll is slated to be held on March 7 after it was vacated by Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

Basumatary’s name was announced by party general secretary Jagadish Bhuyan here for the prestigious seat, where Congress has decided not to contest but leave it for AJP to unite anti-BJP forces.

The ruling BJP announced the name of businessman Bhuban Gam as its candidate for the seat on Monday.

40-year-old Basumatary had contested the 2021 assembly election from Dhemaji(ST) constituency and lost to state Education Minister Ranoj Pegu.

The seat was vacated by Sonowal who was elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha on September 27 following the resignation of Biswajit Daimary from the upper house who contested the state election last year and became the speaker. Sonowal was elected from Majuli for two consecutive terms in 2016 and 2021.

The last date for filing the nomination paper for the by-election is February 17 and scrutiny will be held the next day, while the last date for withdrawal of name is fixed on February 21 and the results will be declared on March 10.

Majuli, the world’s largest river island, was upgraded to a district during Sonowal’s tenure as chief minister.

The 126-member legislative assembly currently comprises of 78 members of the ruling NDA with the BJP having 62 members, its allies AGP and UPPL have nine and seven MLAs respectively while the opposition Congress has 27, AIUDF 15, BPF three, CPI(M) one and an independent member.