Guwahati, March 16 (IANS) The Congress Tuesday fielded two candidates for as many seats for next week’s Rajya Sabha elections, while the opposition pledged its support to a media baron as its common candidate for one seat.
On the last day of filing of nominations, the Congress fielded Nazneen Farooq and sitting Rajya Sabha MP Silvious Condopan, while the opposition backed proprietor of the Asomiya Pratidin group of newspapers, Jayanta Barua, as its common candidate.
Election for the two Rajya Sabha seats is scheduled March 26. Both the seats are now held by the ruling Congress.
While the Congress took a gamble by fielding the second candidate, the lone opposition candidate is facing a challenge with several MLAs belonging to the main opposition Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) openly revolting against the decision to support him as its candidate.
‘The party didn’t take our opinion and never discussed the name of Jayanta Barua while endorsing his candidature. I am unhappy and don’t support his candidature,’ said a visibly perturbed Abdul Aziz, an AGP legislator.
The AGP apart, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Asom United Democratic Front and the Left parties supported Barua’s candidature.
‘Since there are some problems within the opposition, we thought of fielding the second candidate,’ Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said.
The opposition is confident there would be no cross voting and all the legislators would vote for their common candidate.
‘We are confident our candidate would win,’ AGP president Chandra Mohan Patowary said.
But already there are hints of the Congress trying to woo disgruntled opposition legislators to vote for their candidate.