Bijay Malakar
Bijay Malakar, BJP candidate for Ratabari by-election with state BJP president Ranjeet Kr Dass and MP from Karimganj, Kripanath Mallah in a rally before filing nomination papers. Image credit - Northeast Now

Both the candidates from the BJP and the Congress filed their nomination papers for the by-poll to the Ratabari Assembly seat on Monday.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate for Ratabari by-poll, Bijay Malakar, accompanied by state BJP president Ranjeet Kumar Dass, filed his nomination papers on Monday.

It may be called a dress rehearsal before the Assembly elections in Assam slated to be held after two years as state BJP president Dass is not ready to lose any of the four seats which are going to by-polls on October 21.

Apart from Dass, Malakar filed his nomination papers in Karimganj district deputy commissioner’s office in presence of Assam forest & excise minister Parimal Suklabaidya, former deputy speaker Dilip Kumar Paul, Karimganj MP Kripanath Malla.

The nomination papers were submitted to Ruth Lienthang, the returning officer (RO) on Monday.

The jubilant BJP members, party leaders along with a thousand supporters took out a two kilometre march before reaching the deputy commissioner’s office.

The by-poll to Ratabari Assembly seat was necessitated as the seat remained vacant following Kripanath Malla, who represented the Assembly constituency, got elected to the Lok Sabha from Karimganj parliamentary seat.

Speaking to journalists outside the Karimganj DC office, Ranjeet Dass said, “We are confident of winning all the four seats which are going to by-elections.”

“The Congress party, which used to be our major opponent in the past, is a spent force. We will win all the four seats quite convincingly,” he added.

Bijay Malakar, speaking to Northeast Now said, “I would stand by the faith reposed by my party.”

“I am here to serve my people of Ratabari and nothing else. I am indebted to all those who have shown their allegiance and ready to get me elected this by-election,” he added.

While Malakar filed his nominations just before 2 pm on Monday after consultation with his astrologers to file his nominations between 1pm-2 pm, Congress candidate Keshab Rajak filed his nomination before 1 pm.

The Congress candidate was accompanied by North Karimganj MLA Kamlalakhya Dey Purkaysastha.

Speaking to this correspondent, Kamalakhya Dey Purkaysatha said, “Today, for this seat, the state BJP president had to come all the way and that too not more than with 700 to 800 supporters.”

“As they were not able to show strength of at least 10,000 supporters and that too from the constituency of Ratabari, they must accept their defeat,” he said.

“We are going to give them a tough fight this time round.”

“They are in power for which they are showing some muscle power. We will give them a close fight to win the seat back once again,” said Purkayastha.

Aniruddha Laskar

Aniruddha Laskar is the Chief of Bureau, South Assam &and Mizoram. He can be reached at - anilaskar@gmail.com

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