Representative Photo

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Assam expelled 15 leaders, including former deputy speaker Dilip Kumar Paul, from the party for six years for filing nominations as independents in the state assembly elections after they were denied ticket.

State BJP general secretary Rajdeep Roy, in a statement, said that state party president Ranjeet Kumar Dass approved action against the 15 leaders with immediate effect on March 18.

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.

Dilip Kumar Paul was elected to the assembly in a 2014 byelection. 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 named 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.

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