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RS polls: PM likely to file papers on May 9
K Anurag in Guwahati | May 06, 2007 18:12 IST
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely to file his nomination papers in Guwahati on May 9 for the Rajya Sabha election slated for May 24.
According to an official source, Dr Singh will arrive in Guwahati on May 8 to file his nomination papers the next day. A team of his Special Protection Group has already arrived here to look after the security arrangements for the PM's trip.
The Congress, that heads a coalition government in Assam, has chalked out a well-defined strategy to facilitate smooth re-election of Dr Singh to the Rajya Sabha in the election to be held on May 24.
Though the election will be held to two Rajya Sabha seats from the state due to the expiry of terms of sitting members of Parliament Dr Singh and Indramoni Bora of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the ruling Congress is not going to field a second candidate.
"Since we have only 53 legislators of our party (Congress) in the 126-member Assembly, the party will prefer to field only Dr Singh leaving the second seat to be contested by opposition parties," said Mehdi Alam Bora, spokesman of Assam Pradesh Congress Committee.
The Congress enjoys the support of 12 MLAs from its coalition partner Bodoland People's Progressive Front, six independent associate members and one legislator from the Nationalist Congress Party. That makes a total of 72 legislators in support of the ruling Congress.
However, in order to get two candidates elected to the two Rajya Sabha seats, the ruling Congress will require support of 86 MLAs so that both of its candidates get 43 first preference votes each.
In such a situation, the ruling party has decided to field Dr Singh as its lone candidate for the Rajya Sabha polls.
It may be mentioned that Dr Singh is now representing Assam in the Upper House of the Parliament for the third time in a row. He is registered as a voter in the state.
Meanwhile, the opposition parties in Assam Assembly are yet to chalk out their final strategy for the Rajya Sabha election.
The key opposition groups Asom Gana Parishad (24 MLAs), Assam United Democratic Front (11 MLAs) and the BJP (10 MLAs) have so far failed to iron out differences to field a consensus candidate for the opposition bloc.