Manmohan in fray for Assam Rajya Sabha polls

Guwahati, May 29 (IANS) The ruling Congress party in Assam has issued a whip to ensure the presence of its legislators for the crucial Rajya Sabha polls Thursday, which see Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the fray.

Amidst reports of dissidence and infighting, the party Wednesday issued the three-line whip to ensure 100 percent turnout of party legislators in the assembly and also asked its ally Bodoland Peoples' Front (BPF) to ensure presence of its members for the polls for the two Rajya Sabha seats from Assam.

There are three candidates in the fray, the prime minister, Congress leader Santiuse Kujur and Aminul Islam of the All India United Democratic Front.

However, both the seats are likely to be won by the Congress considering the party strength in the state assembly. While there are 79 MLAs of the Congress in the state assembly, its ally, the BPF has 12 legislators.

The AIUDF has only 18 MLAs in the present assembly. The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) have five and nine seats, respectively, in the assembly -- but both parties have decided to abstain from voting.

A senior Congress legislator said the party has drawn up its strategy to win both Rajya Sabha seats. As part of the existing strategy, 49 MLAs will vote for Manmohan Singh and another 45 will vote for Santiuse Kujur.

After issuing the three-line whip, the party legislators must cast their votes and they also have to show their ballots to the party polling agents.

The party has also appointed two polling agents to observe the voting -- Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain and parliamentary secretary for home department Bhupen Bora.

While Hussain will observe the ballots for the party's first candidate Manmohan Singh, Bora will observe the ballots cast for the party's second candidate Santiuse Kujur.

However, the party needs only 38 votes each to win the two seats after the decision by the AGP and BJP to abstain from voting.

The party Wednesday held an urgent meeting where all the legislators of the Congress party and its ally the BPF participated. A mock-poll was also held after the meeting to make the legislators aware about the voting procedure.

"We are going to win both the seats," said senior Congress leader and state Agriculture Minister Nilamoni Sen Deka as he emerged from the meeting.

"Apart from the 79 Congress MLAs and 12 BPF legislators, three independent legislators will also vote for our candidates," Deka said adding that there is no chance that any one will abstain from voting.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Punjab pull off another big chase

Punjab pull off another big chase

GAME 7, SHARJAH—Maxwell, Miller, Pujara chase down Rajasthan's 192. More »

Royal test for Kings

Royal test for Kings

Preview — Clash of philosophies between Australia-centric teams More »

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

The Nawab of Najafgarh says a good run in IPL could help his chances of a comeback on India's tour to England in June. More »

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Some members stressed on the need for proposing names with an "impeccable record and clean image". More »

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Furious fifties by Duminy and Dinesh Karthik end a long losing streak for the Daredevils. More »

Five things England must do to bounce back

Five things England must do to bounce back

England have appointed a new head coach in Peter Moores. More »

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

Royal Challengers overcame a stutter to cruise to the small target they were set by Mumbai Indians. More »

‘Felt like helpless minority’

‘Felt like helpless minority’

Former BCCI treasurer Ajay Shirke says emotions got the better of Srinivasan and he tried to oversimplify things by calling Meiyappan an “enthusiast.” More »

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

His status as president of TNCA makes him eligible to attend the Working Committee meeting on Sunday. More »

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

Kevin Pietersen's hopes of reviving his international career appeared to end Saturday when ECB managing director Paul Downton said there was 'no way back'… More »

The world record that nearly wasn't

The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »

Moores gets second stint as coach

Moores gets second stint as coach

In a two-year spell from 2007 to 2009, the 51-year-old Moores led England in seven Test series. More »

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh's senior players will have three sessions with a psychological skill development coach later this month More »

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

Dalmiya feels that Srinivasan’s ‘power hungry’ attitude isn’t helping matters. More »

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

The 36-year-old believes the T20 format and rule changes in 50-over matches have made a real difference. More »

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

BCCI members want independent probe

BCCI members want independent probe

The board members are realising after the Supreme Court's observations that something has to be done — IS Bindra More »

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Preview — The threat of Sunil Narine looms large again. More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Preview — Given the firepower in both line-ups, Dubai crowd may see another high-scorer More »

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »