Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who on Tuesday filed his nomination from a Rajya Sabha bypoll in Assam, is likely to be elected unopposed, as the opposition parties decided not to field any candidate against the former Chief Minister.
The Union Ports, Shiping and Waterways and AYUSH Minister, accompanied by Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, filed his nomination papers with returning officer Dulal Pegu at the Assembly.
Sonowal is the common candidate of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies — the Asom Gana Parishad and the United People’s Party Liberal.
The Rajya Sabha seat fell vacant after current Assembly Speaker Biswajit Daimary resigned from the upper house after his election to the Assembly in March-April polls.
Sonowal, 59, was elected to the Assembly from Majuli for the second consecutive term, but, in July, inducted into the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ministry.
The last date for the filing of nominations for the Rajya Sabha polls is September 22, while candidatures would be scrutinised next day, and the results would be declared on October 4.
After Sonowal’s election to the Rajya Sabha, the BJP’s strength in the 126-member Assembly would come down to 59. However, allies AGP and UPPL have nine and five seats, respectively. Five seats in the assembly are currently lying vacant with two Congress and one AIUDF MLAs resigning to joined the BJP, while two UPPL members died due to Covid-19.
After Sonowal’s resignation, the number of vacant seats would increase to six.
Of Assam’s seven Rajya Sabha seats, two each are held by the BJP and the Congress, one by the AGP and one by an Independent.