As many as 467 independent candidates are contesting the Assam Assembly elections, which will be held in two phases on April 4 and 11, reported The Sentinel. The number of candidates who are contesting the elections without affiliation to any political party has gone up by 76.8% in the state when compared to the 2011 polls. In the previous Assembly elections, 264 such candidates were in the fray.
According to the daily, the large number of independent candidates has been attributed to disgruntlement among aspirants denied tickets by political parties. The Bharatiya Janata Party has forged an alliance with the Asom Gana Parishad for the upcoming elections, despite strong protests by members of both parties. Tarun Gogoi has been declared as the Congress's chief ministerial candidate, while the BJP has picked Sarbananda Sonowal as its contender for the top post.
The 2011 state elections were contested by 981 candidates, compared to 1,064 this time around. The number of female candidates has gone up only marginally, from 85 in 2011 to 87 this year.