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Assam Bypolls: Criminal cases against two BJP candidates, party reveals

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GUWAHATI: The Bharatiya Janata Party Assam Pradesh has revealed that two out of four candidates the party has deliberated for by-election have pending criminal cases against them as directed by the Election Commission of India.

The two candidates with criminal cases are namely Mariani candidate Rupjyoti Kurmi, who had joined BJP from Congress in June, and Bhabanipur candidate Phanidhar Talukdar, who had joined BJP from AIUDF in September.

Rupjyoti Kurmi, four-time Congress MLA from Mariani, has two criminal cases against him under section 153(A) of IPC at Paltan Bazaar Police Station, based on a Kurmi’s TV interview for which police yet to start interrogation, and another defamation case under U/S 499/500/501 of IPC by one Santanu Puzari based on Kurmi’s another TV interview in which Kurmi had allegedly made some defamatory comments.

The trial for Kurmi’s first case has not started yet whereas the second case is being heard at CJM Jorhat.

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On the other hand, Phanidhar Talukdar, former Bhabanipur MLA from AIUDF, has some serious land grabbing allegations against him and cases booked under section 120(B)/468/406 of IPC and section 138 of N.I. act.

Opposition on many occasions have slammed Phanidhar Talukdar as a land broker or dalal too but BJP has denied any such accusations.

“Shri Phanidhar Talukdar is a person who has been dedicated to social service for the people of the constituency for the past many years,” the BJP informed the ECI as a reason for selecting Talukdar as their candidate even after having serious criminal offences.

The party added, “He was found to have a sound understanding of the ground situation and shared a good rapport with the voters here.”

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