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Assam: BJP-AGP combine suffers set-back

By Anurag Kashyap in Guwahati
April 09, 2009 19:37 IST
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The combine force of Bharatiya Janata Party and Asom Gana Parishad have suffered an irreparable set back in Dhubri parliamentary constituency in western Assam even before the election is held much to the delight of arch rival Congress.

BJP's Nilimoy Pradhani -- who is the candidate of BJP-AGP combine, has been forced out of the fray after his nomination papers were found invalid for not being accompanied by requisite Forms A and B.

It is seen as a set-back, which the alliance will possibly not be able to make up.

A crestfallen state unit of the BJP expelled Nilimoy Pradhani from the party along with the party's Dhubri district secretary Mahanta Ghose after conducting an internal inquiry into the goof-up. Two more BJP officials of Dhubi district, Sushil Kumar Das and Anil Das were put under suspension pending final inquiry.

A party source informed that, the candidate Pradhani failed to submit those missing A and B forms in time even after the mistake was pointed out by the election department officials.

Forced by the circumstances, the BJP-AGP combine on Thursday decided to extend support to Independent candidate Arun Das in Dhubri constituency.

The blunder committed by the BJP candidate has turned out to be major boost for the prospects of Congress candidate given that the large chunk of linguistic minority voters and ethnic communities in the constituency, who would have voted for the BJP-AGP candidate, will now won't have any option besides the Congress.

Now, the only formidable opponent for Congress in the constituency is perfume mogul Badruddin Ajmal, from Assam United Democratic Front. Election in Dhubri constituency will be held on April 23 next.

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Anurag Kashyap in Guwahati