Guwahati: The ruling BJP in Assam on Sunday expelled seven more leaders from the party for six years for contesting as independent candidates against the party's official candidates after being denied tickets, party sources said.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had earlier this month expelled 15 leaders, including former Deputy Speaker Dilip Kumar Paul, from the party for six years for filing nominations as Independents after being denied party ticket.
A BJP statement on Sunday said that the state party president Ranjeet Kumar Dass has expelled the seven leaders for six years with immediate effect for contesting as Independents against the party's nominated candidates.
Another sitting legislator Shiladitya Dev had resigned from the party earlier this month after being denied tickets to contest the Assembly polls.
However, following the persuasion of Minister and senior party leader Himanta Biswa Sarma, Dev, an RSS ideologue, subsequently announced he would campaign for the party.
The ruling party had this time also denied party tickets to 10 sitting legislators and Minister Sum Ronghang, who later joined the Congress, and was made its candidate from his Diphu constituency.
Of Assam's 126 seats, the BJP is contesting 92 seats, giving 26 seats to its old ally Asom Gana Parishad and 8 seats to new partner United People's Party Liberal. Polls in Assam would be held in three phases.
The first phase of polls were held on Saturday in 47 seats while on April 1 (39 seats) and April 6 (40 seats) the remaining phases would be held. The results will be declared on May 2.