Altogether 377 candidates are in fray so far for the 39 constituencies going to polls in the second of the three-phased Assam assembly elections on April one, state election office sources said on Wednesday.

A total of 38 candidates have filed their papers so far for the 40 seats in the third phase to be held on April 6, according to a spokesperson of the office of the Assam Chief Electoral Officer. Altogether 408 candidates had filed their nominations of which 28 were rejected and three withdrew their papers on the last date of withdrawal for the second phase on Wednesday, the spokespersons said, adding reports of withdrawal from districts are still pouring in.

The prominent candidates contesting in the second phase are BJP ministers Parimal Suklabaidya (Dholai), Bhabesh Kalita (Rangia), Pijush Hazarika (Jagiroad) and Deputy Speaker Aminul Haque Laskar (Sonai).

Former Congress minister Gautam Roy who joined the saffron party is contesting from Katigorah on a BJP ticket while his son Rahul Roy and daughter-in-law Daisy Roy are fighting as Independents from Udharbond and Algapur respectively.

Former Deputy Speaker Dilip Kumar Paul, who resigned from the BJP after he was denied ticket is contesting as an independent from Silchar, Rajya Sabha MP Biswajit Daimary (Paneri) and former Asam Sahitya Sabha President Paramananda Rajbongshi (Sipajhar) are contesting as BJP candidates and BPF Minister Rihon Daimary (Udalguri) are also in the fray for the second phase poll.

Meanwhile, 38 candidates have filed their nominations so far for the third and final phase of polls, scheduled on April 6. The prominent candidates who filed their nominations during the day are BJP state unit President Ranjeet Kumar Dass from Pathacharkuchi, Industry and Commerce Minister Chandramohan Patowary from Dharmapur, former AGP Minister Kamala Kalita from Chaygaon and Assam Jatiya Parishad Working President Pabindra Deka from Pathacharkuchi.

Kokrajhar Lok Sabha MP Naba Kumar Sarania from Barama as an Independent and former four-time AGP MLA Bhupen Roy from Abhayapuri North had filed nominations earlier. The last date of filing of nominations for the third phase is March 19, the date of scrutiny on March 20 and the last date for withdrawal on March 22.

There are 267 contestants in fray for the first phase of elections to 47 constituencies to be held on March 27. The prominent candidates in the fray in the first phase are Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal (Majuli), Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami (Jorhat), ministers Ranjit Dutta (Behali), Naba Kumar Doley (Jonai) and Sanjoy Kishan (Tinsukia), along with AGP ministers Atul Bora (Bokakhat) and Keshab Mahanta (Kaliabor).

Assam Pradesh Congress Committee President Ripun Bora (Gohpur), Congress Legislature Party leader Debabrata Saikia (Nazira), AICC Secretary Bhupen Borah (Bihpuria) and former Ministers Bharat Narah (Naoboicha), Pranatee Phukan (Naharkatiya), Rakibul Hussain (Samaguri) and Bismita Gogoi (Khumtai) are contesting in the first phase. Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) President Lurinjyoti Gogoi from Duliajan and Naharkatia seats, jailed anti-CAA activist and Raijor Dal chief Akhil Gogoi from Sibsagar and former Congress Minister Ajanta Neog as a BJP candidate, from Golaghat are also in the fray in the first phase.

Elections to the 126-member Assam assembly will be held in three phases on March 27, April one and April six. PTI