The Congress denied tickets Monday to several veteran Assam MLAs including the sitting legislators of Guwahati East and West, and named former AASU president Sankar Prasad Roy in its second list of 57 candidates. Roy, who had joined the BJP last year, joined the Congress earlier this month after being denied a ticket. “It took only five or six months for me to understand what kind of a party the BJP is. I am 100 cent assured the Congress alone can work for Assam’s interests,” said Roy, who has been named for Bongaigaon, where AGP veteran Phani Bhushan Choudhury has been undefeated since 1985.
Former president of the All Koch-Rajbangshi Students’ Union Biswajit Ray, who too had joined the Congress only a few weeks ago, has been given the ticket to Bijni. Filmmaker and television director Bobbeeta Sarma replaced two-time MLA Captain Robin Bordoloi in Guwahati East, while two-time Guwahati West MLA Hemanta Talukdar was dropped to accommodate former All India Youth Congress general secretary Juri Sarma Bordoloi.
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The Congress also nominated former ULFA member Suresh Bora in Barhampur to take on two-time former AGP chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta. The BJP has at least two former ULFA militants — Bhaskar Sarma in Margherita and Kushal Duwori in Thowra.
Veteran AGP leader Zoii Nath Sarma, who had won four consecutive terms since 1985 from Sipajhar, too got a Congress ticket. Sarma, known for his RSS links even during his AASU days, had joined the Congress in December.
Sherman Ali Ahmed, who had quit the AIUDF and joined the Congress earlier this month, has been named the candidate from Baghbor.