First Phase polling in Assam & West Bengal begins
The first phase of polling for the Assam and West Bengal assembly elections began on Saturday, March 27.
In Assam, polling began as early as 7 am and will end by 6 pm.
The first phase of polling is being conducted in 47 constituencies under 12 districts.
There are about 264 candidates, including 23 women, who are fighting for 47 seats.
There are over 81 lakh voters, including 40.32 lakh women and about 124 Third Gender persons.
The three main alliances include BJP-led National Democratic Alliance with partners Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL); Mahajot or Grand Alliance led by the Congress, including All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), Bodoland Peoples' Front (BPF) and the Left parties; and a regional alliance consisting of Assam Jatiya Party (AJP) and Raijor Dal.
The Congress has put up 43 candidates, AJP has 41, BJP-39, AGP-10, and over 78 independents.
The prominent politicians in the first phase include Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal from Majuli, State Congress President Ripun Bora from Gohpur, Asom Gana Parishad President Atul Bora from Boka khat, Raijor Dal President Akhil Gogoi from Sivsagar and Assam Jatiya Parishad President Lurinjyoti Gogoi from Duliajan and Nahakatia.
"The first phase of elections begin in Assam. Urging those eligible to vote in record numbers. I particularly call upon my young friends to vote," Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted on Assam polls.
In West Bengal, polling began at 7 pm and will end at 6:30 pm, with over 74 lakh voters, including 36.28 lakh women and 63 Third Gender persons to decide the fate of 191, including 21 women candidates.
In the first phase, West Bengal polls will cover 30 seats spread across five districts.
Out of 30 seats, BJP is contesting 29 and alliance partner-AJSU is fighting from the Baghmundi seat in the Purulia district, while TMC is contesting in 29 seats, and supporting an independent candidate in Joypur constituency after the nomination of the party candidate was rejected.
Congress, the Left parties and the Indian Secular Front are fighting under the banner of Sanyukt Morcha.
"Today, Phase 1 of the West Bengal Assembly elections begin. I would request all those who are voters in the seats polling today to exercise their franchise in record numbers," PM Modi tweeted early this morning.
(Edited by Gabriel G Momin)