Eight independent candidates on Saturday withdrew their nomination papers for the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) election, which has been deferred in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, election office sources said here.
Altogether, 72 candidates are now in the fray for the 40-member Council whose term is scheduled to end on April 27.

The polls to the Council was scheduled on April 4. Filing of nominations and scrutiny is over, while the withdrawal process ended on Saturday.

“Due to various restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of coronavirus, it will be difficult to ensure a free and fair election. So, the commission has decided to defer it,” Assam State Election Commissioner Aloke Kumar had said on Friday.

After the withdrawal of nomination papers and finalisation of the candidates” list, the election process would be put on hold, Kumar had said. A new schedule would be announced for campaigning, polls and counting after assessing the situation, he said.

The Commission assured that adequate time for campaigning will be given to the candidates. The Model Code of Conduct will continue to be in force. “The situation is such that it is difficult to anticipate a poll date. However, according to the law, the entire election process must be over by April 27,” Kumar had said.