The ruling BJP on Monday fielded Bhuban Gam, a leader of Mising community, as its candidate for bypoll to Assam's Majuli assembly constituency, which was vacated by Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal last year.
BJP National General Secretary Arun Singh, in a statement, announced that Mr Gam, a greenhorn in electoral politics, would be the ruling party's nominee for the Scheduled Tribes (ST)-reserved seat.
The opposition Congress, seeking to join hands with anti-BJP forces, had earlier stated that it would not nominate anyone, and gave the seat to Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP), which is yet to name a candidate.
Bypolls to Majuli is scheduled to be held on March 7. Votes will be counted three days later.
Mr Sonowal had quit Assembly membership on September 28 last year, a day after getting elected to Rajya Sabha. The former chief minister had won the Majuli seat for two consecutive terms -- in 2016 and 2021.
Currently, the BJP's strength in the 126-member Assembly stood at 62, while its allies AGP and UPPL have nine and seven MLAs respectively.
In the opposition camp, the Congress has 27 legislators, the AIUDF has 15 members, the BPF three and the CPI(M) one MLA. There is also an Independent MLA in the House.
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