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Parties gear up for bypolls

- BJP shortlists candidates, Cong lags in campaign

Silchar, Aug. 18: The major political parties in Assam are now gearing up to contest the September 13 bypolls in the state in three Assembly seats — two in Cachar district and another in Jamunamukh in Nagaon district — for which counting would be held on September 16.

In Cachar district, the Silchar seat fell vacant after MLA Sushmita Dev won the Lok Sabha seat.

The other fell vacant after tea leader D.P. Goala breathed his last in New Delhi last April.

The Jamunamukh seat also fell vacant after AIUDF MLA Sirajuddin Ajmal, the younger brother of party chief Badruddin Ajmal, was elected to the Lok Sabha.

The contending parties in the state now are busy vying with each other to select their respective choice sooner for gradually building the tempo of electioneering without losing any time.

The BJP appears to have stolen a march in the campaigning for the bypolls under the aegis of state chief Siddhartha Bhattacharya.

Bhattacharya today chaired a meeting of party office-bearers in Guwahati and discussed the party’s preparations for the bypoll to the three Legislative Assembly seats to be held on September 13.

This was the first office-bearers’ meeting presided over by Bhattacharya as the president of the party’s state unit.

“The meeting also discussed the 2016 Assembly elections and organisational matters of the party,” a source said.

Assam PCC observers are yet to reach Cachar district to begin the campaign though there are hardly 26 days are left for poll day.

The names of the likely Congress candidates in Silchar Assembly seat include Cachar district DCC president Arun Dutta Mazumdar, former district Youth Congress president Rajesh Dev, Silchar municipality chairman Tamal Banik and Bharati Dev, the eldest daughter of party stalwart and former Union minister Santosh Mohan Dev.

The BJP has shortlisted its candidates — Rajdeep Roy, an orthopaedic surgeon, Dilip Paul, a councillor of the Silchar municipality, and Parthasarathi Chanda, a former principal of GC College.

In Lakhipur seat, the most likely candidate of the Congress party is Rajdeep Goala, the eldest son of former state minister D.P. Goala.

The BJP candidate could be Sanjoy Thakur, a lawyer, Adhvesh Singh, a former central excise department official, and Ashok Linayet, a trader and social worker.

The AIUDF is likely to announce its possible candidates for all the three seats in the third week of this month, according to the general secretary (administration) of the party in Cachar, Shaminul Haque Barbhuyan.