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Supreme Court turns down BPF plea to postpone polling in Tamulpur

NEW DELHI: Bodoland People’s Front’s petition (BPF) plans to postpone polling in Tamulpur came a cropper after its plea was turned down by the Supreme Court today. Its candidate Rangja Khungur Basumatary defected to the BJP days before the election was to commence. The BPF is part of the Congress-led alliance – “Mahajoth”.

“How can court interfere in the middle of elections? We will show you the door of Assam High Court,” Chief Justice SA Bobde told the petitioner.

After the Supreme Court ruling, the BPF has said that it will approach the Gauhati High Court to seek the cancellation of the polls.

The Election Commission had also refused to intervene in the matter, stressing the polling could be could only be adjourned (or candidates changed) “only in event of death of a candidate”.

“The complaint (filed by the BPF) has been examined… the Commission is of the considered view that under the extant statutory provisions the matter does not warrant any intervention at this juncture,” the poll body said.

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The poll body said it had received assurances from Basumatary that he had joined the BJP “willingly (and) without pressure from any quarter”.

BPF chief Hagrama Mohilary, writing to the election body on April 2, alleged that “since the candidate nominated by my party has changed his political allegiance barely a few days before polling through illegal inducements including bribery, he is no longer entitled to receive the votes under the Bodoland Peoples Front (BPF) party symbol.”

The 2021 Assam Legislative Assembly election is the 15th quinquennial legislative assembly election scheduled to be held in Assam from March 27 to April 6 in three phases, to elect 126 MLAs to the 15th Assam Legislative Assembly.

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