Assam Polls 2021: 337 candidates, including BJP's Himanta up for final phase
The third and final phase of the Assam assembly elections will be conducted across 40 constituencies in lower and western Assam on Tuesday.
There are about 337 candidates, including 20 sitting MLAs, including eight from the Congress, five from the BJP, three each from the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) and Bodoland Peoples’ Front (BPF) and one from Asom Gana Parishad (AGP).
The ruling BJP is contesting 20 constituencies in the third phase while its allies, AGP and the Pramod Boro-led United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) are contesting 12 and eight seats, respectively.
The Opposition Congress is contesting 23 seats, while its partner, AIUDF, is contesting in 12 while two other allies, BPF and CPI (M), are contesting in eight and one seats, respectively.
Prominent candidates for the third phase include BJP's key strategist Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is eyeing his fifth triumph from his stronghold, Jalukbari; Chandra Mohan Patowary (Dharmapur), Siddhartha Bhattacharya (Gauhati East), Assam BJP state president, Ranjeet Kumar Dass (Patacharkuchi), AGP’s Phani Bhushan Choudhury (Bongaigaon), Bodoland People’s Front’s (BPF) Pramila Rani Brahma (Kokrajhar East), Gana Suraksha Party chief and Kokrajhar MP Naba Sarania (Barama).
Four seats will witness a friendly contest between AIUDF and Congress.
Newly-floated regional party, the Lurinjyoti Gogoi-led Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) is contesting 22 seats.
A total of 79, 19,641 electors, including 40, 11,539 male, 39, 07,963 female and 139 voters of the third gender are eligible to exercise their franchise in the third phase. The election department has arranged 11,401 polling stations in the third phase.
Meanwhile, polling personnel have moved to their respective polling stations across the 16 election districts on Monday with the state election department ensuring that all protocols (including COVID) were followed for safe, free and fair polls.
Security has been beefed up as well, with as many as 320 companies deployed in the state. There will be one constable and one home guard manning each polling station apart from the sector and zonal officers monitoring proceedings.
The counting of votes will take place on May 2.
Notably, both the BJP-led NDA and the Congress-led Grand Alliance have conducted high-voltage campaigns ahead of the three phases, with national leaders and star campaigners, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi visiting Assam to campaign for their respective alliance candidates.
(Edited by Gabriel G Momin)