PM to file nomination for Rajya Sabha polls in Assam


Guwahati : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrives in Guwahati Tuesday on a two-day visit to file his nomination papers for biennial elections to the Rajya Sabha from his adopted home state of Assam.

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An Assam Legislative Assembly spokesperson said the prime minister would file his nominations Wednesday from one of the two seats from Assam. Elections are scheduled for May 24.

"The prime minister would be filing his nomination papers between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday at the assembly premises," Assam's Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bharat Chandra Narah told IANS.

The prime minister is one of the two MPs from Assam whose term ends June 14. The second Rajya Sabha MP from Assam is Indramoni Bora from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Singh has served three terms as member of Rajya Sabha since 1991 when he was finance minister during the tenure of the late prime minister P.V. Narasimha Rao. He served his second term in 1995 and was re-elected again in 2001.

"The Congress party has no plans to put up a candidate for the second seat. We want the prime minister to have an easy win as this a matter of pride for Assam to have him as our MP," Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said.

There is no consensus yet among the opposition in Assam for the second candidate.

Congress party leaders are toying with the idea of putting up a candidate in the last minute for the second seat if the opposition fails in their attempt to have a consensus choice.

Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil and senior Congress leader Motilal Vora are arriving the capital city Tuesday as party observers for the elections. The Congress has 53 seats in the 126 member state legislature. Besides, there are six associate members, 12 legislators of the Bodo People's Progressive Front and one from the Nationalist Congress Party (both supporting the Congress-led government in Assam).

The prime minister has invariably referred to Assam as his 'adopted home state' during his many visits to the state.

"The prime minister did a lot of community development work from his MP Local Area Development Fund. During his tenure, we have got many big projects for the overall development of the state in particular and the northeast in general," a senior Congress leader said.