But the entry of All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), led by perfume baron Badaruddin Ajmal, has made the contest triangular in Lakhipur. In Nagaon district's Jamunamukh constituency, the main contest is between the Congress and the AIUDF.

By-election for Silchar seat was necessitated following Congress legislator Susmita Dev's election to the Lok Sabha while Lakhipur seat fell vacant after the death of sitting MLA and former minister Dinesh Prasad Goala.

The Jamunamukh seat was vacated by AIUDF legislator Sirajuddin Ajmal, who earlier was elected to the Lok Sabha from Barpeta constituency. A total of 12 candidates have filed nominations for the Silchar seat, while six candidates have filed nominations for the Lakhipur seat.

In Jamunamukh constituency, 11 candidates have filed their nomination papers. Silchar will see a straight fight between BJP nominee Dilip Paul and Congress candidate Arun Dutta Mazumder. The tea worker-dominated Lakhipur constituency will see a three-cornered contest among the Congress, the AIUDF and the BJP candidates.

The Congress has fielded Goala's son Rajdeep while the BJP has nominated Sanjay Kumar Thakur. Mukesh Pandey is the AIUDF candidate.In Jamunamukh constituency, the AIUDF has fielded Abdur Rahim Ajmal, son of AIUDF chief Ajmal.

The Congress has put up Bashiruddin Laskar while the BJP has nominated Bilal Uddin for the bypoll. Political observers say that although the Congress won the Silchar seat in 2011 polls by fielding Sushmita Dev, daughter of Congress strongman and former union minister Santosh Mohan Dev, the party's vote share reduced in Silchar assembly segment during the Lok Sabha polls.

Similarly, the party's vote share decreased in the Lakhipur assembly segment, which like Silchar assembly segment falls under Silchar parliamentary seat. Notably, the state's regional political party - Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) - has decided to abstain from the polls.

"We feel that there will be rampant use of money and muscle power in the by-elections and there were indications that communal politics would dominate the by-polls," said AGP general secretary Ramendra Narayan Kalita.

Kalita said in this context the party has decided not to contest the by-polls. Kalita, however, admitted that there was a need to strengthening the party's organisational activities with focus on the 2016 assembly polls.

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