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Assam:Congress decides on six candidates

By K Anurag in Guwahati
March 07, 2009 01:27 IST
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The ruling Congress has so far decided on party nominees for six Lok Sabha constituencies in Assam while names of prospective candidates for the rest of the constituencies have been screened and sent to the central election committee of the party for final selection.

A senior leader of state Congress informed that the ruling party would field candidates in 13 Lok Sabha constituencies in Assam out of the total 14 seats as it has decided to give up one seat for its ally, Bodo People's Front.
"Party candidates for six parliamentary constituencies – Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Kaliabor, Autonomous Districts (Diphu), Silchar and Karimganj, have been finalized as there was only one aspirant for each of these constituencies," sources said.

Senior party leader from the tea tribe community, Paban Singh Ghatowar will contest from Dibrugarh, Union Minister of State for fertilizer and chemicals, Bijoy Krishna Handique from Jorhat, Union Minister for Heavy Industries, Santosh Mohan Deb from Silchar and sitting party MPs Dip Gogoi, Biren Singh Ingti and Lalitmohan Sukla Baidya will contest from Kaliabor, Diphu and Karimganj constituencies respectively.

Scores of other Congress leaders including women and youth leaders are in the race for party nomination from rest seven parliamentary constituencies. The State party's election committee has sent a downsized list of aspirants to the AICC's election committee for final selection of candidates.

The election committee of Assam Pradesh Congress Committee had a very tough job at hand to pick party nominees for only 14 parliamentary seats out of 126 aspirants. It was an unprecedented rush of aspirants spurred by the party's overwhelming success in all parliamentary and assembly elections in the state since 1999. "It is for the first time over 120 Congressmen have applied for tickets to contest from the 14 parliamentary onstituencies in the state," a senior party leader said.

Meanwhile, the ruling Congress has already got into the election mood with senior party leaders and ministers including the chief minister embarking on extensive tours across the state addressing public functions and losing not a single opportunity to launch attack on opposition parties.

Even before poll dates were announced by the Election Commission, Assam chief minister Gogoi and his cabinet colleagues had been busy trumpeting development and welfare schemes that are on the roll and announcing new populist schemes
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K Anurag in Guwahati