337 candidates in fray across 40 seats in final phase of Assam polls on April 6

GUWAHATI, April 5: As many as 337 candidates are in the fray in the third and final phase of Assam Assembly elections to be held across 40 constituencies amid tight security and strict COVID-19 protocols on Tuesday.

Among those whose fate will be sealed in the EVMs are 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).

Apart from BJP key strategist Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is eyeing his fifth triumph from his stronghold, Jalukbari, other important candidates in the fray are 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) and Gana Suraksha Party chief and Kokrajhar MP Naba Sarania (Barama).

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 seat respectively.

A friendly contest will be witnessed between AIUDF and Congress in four seats.

Newly-floated regional party, the Lurinjyoti Gogoi-led Assam Jatiya Parishad is contesting 22 seats.

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.

Campaigning for the third and last phase of elections for 40 assembly seats came to an end on Sunday evening. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.

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.

Mock training sessions were also held to acquaint voters with the voting process through electronic voting machines and VVPAT (voters’ verifiable paper audit trail) machines.

Security has been beefed up 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 sector and zonal officers monitoring proceedings.



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