The Congress party, in poll-bound Assam, won two seats in the Rajya Sabha Monday after an independent candidate backed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and the Bodoland People's Front (BPF) withdrew.
Former Union Minister and three-time MP Ranee Narah and Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) Vice President Ripun Bora bagged 47 and 38 votes, respectively. A total of 85 members of the Legislative Assembly voted in favour of Congress Monday. As many as 67 of 70 Congress MLAs, 16 from All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), one from the BJP and one independent member voted in favour of the Congress, the New Indian Express reported. Two Congress legislators and the rest of the BJP, AGP and BPF members did not vote.
"We voted for the Congress candidates as we want to prevent the BJP from passing some of the anti-people bills brought by the party in the Rajya Sabha. We do not have any understanding with the Congress," AIUDF legislator Abdur Rahim Khan was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India. However, the minority-based party favouring Congress is reportedly being seen as an alliance between the two parties.
After the Rajya Sabha elections Monday, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said that "now, people of the state will realise that I have support from across the parties." He made the statement in reference to the cross-voting, while Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Anjan Dutta called the Upper House election results a "signal" for the Assembly elections.
"Earlier, I was sure of winning 70 seats but now I am confident of winning at least 78 seats in the Assembly polls," the New Indian Express quoted him as saying.
The APCC released its second list of 57 candidates for the two-phased Legislative Assembly elections that will take place in April 2016.