For the second phase of elections in Assam, the BJP on Wednesday announced the names of three candidates, all fresh faces, taking the total number of contestants to 74 for the first two phases of assembly elections in Assam.

The party has nominated Milan Das from Hailakandi constituency instead of Soumyajit Dutta Choudhury who had lost the seat to AIUDF’s Anwar Hussain Laskar by 2,608 votes in 2016.

Controversial sitting BJP MLA from Hojai, Shiladitya Dev, known for making provocative remarks against immigrant Muslims and at times against his own party members, has been denied ticket and replaced by Ramakrishna Ghosh.

Reacting to the development, Dev wrote on his Facebook page, “Finally, I have been kicked out of BJP”.

Sitting BJP MLA from Sipajhar, Binanda Saikia, has also been also denied ticket with former Asam Sahitya Sabha president Parmananda Rajbongshi, who joined the saffron party recently from the AGP, fielded from the seat in Darrang district.

Meanwhile, BJP candidate from 16 Haflong constituency, Nandita Gorlosa today filed her nomination in the presence of Chief Executive Member, NC Hills Autonomous Council Debolal Gorlosa, Ratan Teron, BJP Dima Hasao Executive Members, Members of Autonomous Councils and BJP workers.

The BJP is contesting 74 of the 86 assembly constituencies going to polls in the first two phases while the others have been left for its allies, the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL).

In the first phase, 22 sitting MLAs of the saffron party will be contesting the polls while in the second, nine sitting MLAs have been allotted the same seat.

Barring the candidature of NEDA convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma from Jalukbari and state unit party president Ranjeet Kumar Dass from Pathacharkuchi, the BJP is yet to announce the names of candidates for the third phase polls for 40 constituencies on April six.

Elections to the 126-member state assembly will be held in three phases with 47 seats going to polls on March 27 and 39 in the second phase on April one.