GUWAHATI: Assam’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday expelled 15 leaders, including former Deputy Speaker Dilip Kumar Paul, from the party for six years for filing nominations as Independents after being denied ticket.
State Bharatiya Janata Party General Secretary Rajdeep Roy, in a statement, said that state party President Ranjeet Kumar Dass approved action against the 15 leaders with immediate effect.
Paul and another legislator Shiladitya Dev had resigned from the party earlier this month after being denied tickets to contest the forthcoming Assembly polls.
However, following the persuasion of Minister and senior party leader Himanta Biswa Sarma, Dev subsequently announced he would campaign for the party.
Paul was elected to the Assembly in a 2014 by-election. He won again in the 2016 polls from the Silchar Assembly constituency and became Deputy Speaker but quit the post in 2018.
The BJP this time nominated Dipayan Chakraborty from Silchar.
The ruling party had this time denied party tickets to 10 sitting legislators and Minister Sum Ronghang, who later joined the Congress, and was made its candidate from his Diphu constituency.
Of Assam’s 126 seats, the BJP is contesting 92 seats, giving 26 seats to its ally Asom Gana Parishad and 8 seats to new partner United People’s Party Liberal.
Polls in Assam would be held in three phases on March 27 (47 seats), April 1 (39 seats) and April 6 (40 seats). The results will be declared on May 2.