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Nine candidates in fray from Jonai seat
Correspondent
 JONAI, March 25 - As the Assembly elections draw near, political parties including the Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Independents backed by small parties are gearing up their poll campaign in 114-Jonai (ST) LAC.

A total of nine candidates including a former MLA are in the poll fray in Jonai this time. The ruling Congress has fielded Sushil Pegu, son of former Minister Gomeswar Pegu, while the Opposition BJP has nominated its Dhemaji district BJP president, Ashini Pait as the party candidate. But both the candidates are facing active revolt from dissidents in their own camps, who have fielded strong candidates as Independents.

The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) has no organisational base in the constituency.

Independent candidate Dr Lenindra Doley, who was a leading ticket contender from the ruling Congress, has stepped in the poll fray with a large faction of dissident Congressmen. Similarly, aggrieved Satho Basumatary, a deprived BJP leader, is contesting the seat by claiming the support of a majority of BJP leaders of the constituency. Basumatary is trying to erode the base of the saffron brigade and woo them towards his side, which may bruise the party.

On the other hand, Sanmilita Gana Sakti is supporting the Independent candidate, Bhuban Pegu, who had earlier won as an Independent but lost to the Congress candidate in the last election. Similarly, Naren Sonowal, who has contested several times, is also contesting the election as an Independent.

The Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Republican Party of India (Athavale) and Voters Party International are trying to extend their base in the constituency this time. The AAP is supporting one Independent debutant, Jonkey Pegu, while the former executive councillor of Deori Council, Hitesh Deori is backed by the RPI (Athavale). The RPI (Athavale), is a splinter political group (Maharashtra) and a small constituent of the earlier UPA Government at the Centre.

Another Independent candidate, Bhupen Narah, said to be a kin of Congress heavyweight Bharat Ch Narah, is contesting with the support of the Voters Party International, a political party working for redefining political and economic rights of the voters in democracy.

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