As many as 47 of the 126 Assembly seats in Assam go to polls today. A slew of top politicians are in the fray including Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Speaker Hitendranath Goswami and state Congress chief Ripun Borah.
Most of these seats will likely witness triangular contest between the ruling BJP-AGP alliance, the Congress-led opposition grand alliance and the newly formed Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP).
While the grand alliance is contesting in all the seats, the ruling BJP is contesting in 39 seats and its partner AGP 10. The two allies are engaged in friendly contest in Lakhimpur and Naharkatiya constituencies.
The Congress has put forth 43 candidates while its allies the AIUDF, CPI(ML-L), RJD and Anchalik Gana Morcha (contesting as Independent) are contesting in one seat each.
The newly formed AJP is in the fray in 41 seats, while there are 78 Independents, including 19 candidates of the newly formed Raijor Dal who are also contesting as Independents.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal is trying his luck from Majuli (ST) seat where he is locked in a direct contest with three-time former Congress MLA and former minister Rajib Lochan Pegu.
Speaker of the outgoing assembly Hitendranath Goswami is also locked in a direct contest with former Congress MLA Rana Goswami in Jorhat.
Titabor, another high-profile seat that was held by former chief minister Tarun Gogoi of the Congress for four successive terms will likely see a direct contest between Bhaskar Jyoti Barua of the Congress and former MLA Hemanta Kalita. Gogoi, the tallest Congress leader in the state, died last year.
The first phase of polling in Assam was held peacefully in Assam on Saturday when around 77
per cent of the total 81.09 lakh voters exercised their franchise in 47 constituencies adhering to COVID-19 protocols, an Election Commission official said.
5.00 pm: 72.10 per cent of 81.09 lakh electors exercise their franchise till 5 pm in 47 assembly seats where polling is underway for the first phase.
4.02 pm: 62.09 per cent of 81.09 lakh electors exercise their franchise till 3 pm in first phase of polling
3.00 pm: A voter turnout of 47.93 per cent was recorded till 3 pm in Assam.
1.15: pm: 45.20 per cent of 81.09 lakh electors exercise their franchise till 1.00 pm
12.45 pm: Women officials are exclusively conducting the exercise in 479 polling stations.
12.15 pm: While the polling so far has been peaceful, some complaints of EVM glitches were lodged, an Election Commission official said.
11. 45 am: First-time voters in many polling stations were greeted with saplings and 'Gamosa', a traditional hand-woven Assamese scarf.
11.15 am: An estimated 25.88 per cent of the total 81.09 lakh electors exercised their franchise till 11 am
11.00 am: Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal exercised his franchise at Sahitya Sabha Bhavan, a model polling station, in his home town Dibrugarh in upper Assam.
"The BJP and its alliance partners will win again and return to power in Assam. People have seen the performance of our government in the last five years," he said after casting his vote.
10.30 am: A total of 300 companies of security forces have been deployed to ensure peaceful conduction of polls, officials said.
10.00 am: Voting has been largely peaceful. Some complaints of EVM glitches were received, say EC officials
9:30 am: An estimated 9.47 per cent of the total 81.09 lakh electors exercised their franchise till 9 am
9.00 am: BJP president JP Nadda urges voters to follow covid-19 protocols
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8:30 am: Four percent polling recorded in first one hour of voting, reports claimed
7.30 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged voters to hit the polling booths in record numbers
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.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 27, 2021
7.00 am: Voting begins in 47 seats in first phase of Assam Assembly elections
(With PTI inputs)