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BJP axes five sitting MPs in Assam

GUWAHATI: The ruling BJP in Assam has axed five sitting MPs from contesting the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls and selected new faces instead.

The BJP’s first list of candidates dropped three sitting MPs including Bijoya Chakravarty (Guwahati), Ramen Deka (Mangaldai) and Kamakhya Prasad Tasa (Jorhat). The party has given tickets to Queen Ojah in Guwahati, Dilip Saikia in Mangaldai and State Minister Tapan Gogoi in Jorhat.

The second list of the saffron party announced on Friday axed sitting Lok Sabha MP from Tezpur constituency, Ram Prasad Sarmah, and named State Minister Pallab Lochan Das to contest from the constituency.

Although the party is yet to name its candidate for the Nowgong Lok Sabha constituency in Central Assam, sources in the party on Saturday confirmed the name of sitting legislator from Nowgong Sadar Assembly constituency Rupak Sarmah to contest the Lok Sabha polls this time from Nowgong.

While the party leadership seemed to have axed Chakravarty due to her age, she is 79; Deka and Tasa were replaced due to poor performance.

Union Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain withdrew his name from the race due to charges of rape and molestation filed against him by a woman last year. Ram Prasad Sarmah was axed after his name cropped up in the multi-crore cash-for-jobs scam in Assam where one of his daughters was also found to be involved.

Ram Prasad Sarmah had allegedly bribed the Chairman of the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC) along with many others to get his daughter selected for the Assam Police Service Commission — a major scam unearthed after the BJP-led government in Assam took over in 2016 and got over 30 selected candidates jailed for their involvement in the cash-for-job scam. His daughter is one of them.

Gohain lobbied hard in New Delhi to get a ticket for his wife Rita Gohain in Nowgong but to no avail as, according to sources, the party has selected Rupak Sarmah. IANS

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