The National People’s Party (NPP) has reportedly decided to field a retired official of Assam Rifles for Tezpur in constituency in the Lok Sabha polls.
Party insiders said the NPP has decided to nominate the retired official of Assam Rifles, Ram Bahadur Sonar in the constituency.
If Sonar, who belongs to Nepali community, is fielded in the seat, it could play spoilsport for BJP, since there is significant Nepali population in the constituency.
There are around two lakh voters belonging to Nepali community and they play a decisive role in the polls. Candidates belonging to Nepali community have traditionally done well from the constituency.
The ailing Mani Kumar Subba, a member of Nepali community, had been the Congress MP from Tezpur from 1998 to 2004. In 2014, the BJP’s R.P. Sharma, also a Nepali, won the seat by defeating the ruling Congress’ Bhupen Kumar Borah and the AGP’s Toppo, polling over 45 per cent votes.
This time the BJP leadership, however, has denied ticket to sitting MP RP Sarma and nominated minister Pallab Lochan Das for the constituency.
Das belongs to tea garden community and unlikely get support from the Nepali voters as the saffron party has denied ticket to RP Sarma, a leader of their community.
Secondly, rebel RP Sarma’s ‘anti-party’ stance will also affect prospects of the BJP in the constituency. Sarma on Saturday had said he would float a new political party involving all the old BJP leaders in Assam who are now ‘neglected’ in the saffron party.
Sources said the Gorkha organisations of the constituency are contemplating to back Sonar.
The Congress has fielded former bureaucrat MGVK Bhanu in the seat, who has targeted the tea garden community votes and launched massive campaign in tea gardens of the constituency.