Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday said that several MLAs of the party are set to join the BJP. He made the remarks ahead of the March 31 Rajya Sabha polls. “The Congress does not know that many of their MLAs are going to join the BJP. Also, candidates are not bound to follow the whip issued in the party in Rajya Sabha polls. By this calculation, we will manage to get both the seats,”
“The BJP has fielded Pabitra Gogoi Margherita for Rajya Sabha polls and announced its support to UPPL candidate Rwngwra Narzary for the second seat.
Assam lawmakers will vote for two of 13 Rajya Sabha seats that fall vacant in April. Punjab, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Tripura are the other states where the lawmakers are set to vote.
The Rajya Sabha polls come weeks after the results for assembly elections for five states were declared and the BJP claimed victory in four of them – Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa. The AAP won Punjab. The Congress faced severe drubbing yet again.
In Assam, both the leaders whose term is set to expire in April are from the Congress – Ranee Narah and Ripun Bora.
Ripun Bora has picked by the party again. “I am very grateful to Hon’ble Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi and my leader Shri @RahulGandhi for Re-nominating me as the party’s candidate for the Rajya Sabha election from Assam. Also, I am seeking blessings from all the Congress leaders and party workers. (sic),” he had tweeted last week.
It was reported that the Congress held talks with the AIUDF earlier this month for one of the two seats. The two parties had contested the state election together last year as a part of the 10-party alliance.
Rajya Sabha members are elected by a single transferable vote by state legislatures on the principle of proportional representation. In Assam, to win a Rajya Sabha, a party or alliance needs 43 votes.