Guwahati: Voting for the first phase of assembly polls in Assam has begun with Tarun Gogoi of Congress striving hard to retain power in the key northeastern state.
65 constituencies in Assam are voting today in the over a month-long election process to elect new governments in the state along with West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.
While West Bengal will have elections spread over six phases, the Assam polls will be held in two phases.
In Assam, the ruling Congress, the BJP-AGP-BPF alliance and the AIUDF are locked in a keen battle where the first phase of elections will be held in 65 of the 126 constituencies. In Assam, a total of 539 candidates are contesting in the first phase.
Security has been tightened across the state with the Indo-Bangla border along Barak Valley’s Karimganj district sealed and more than 40,000 security personnel deployed in the 65 constituencies spread across Upper Assam, hill districts, northern banks and Barak Valley.
The first phase will witness mostly direct contest between the ruling Congress and the BJP-AGP-BPF alliance though the AIUDF has put up candidates in 27 constituencies where the fight is expected to be triangular.
The Congress is contesting in all the 65 constituencies in the first phase while the BJP is contesting in 54 and its alliance partners–AGP in 11 and BPF in three, the AIUDF in 27, the CPI and CPM in ten each with CPI(ML)(L) in six along with 60 others of unrecognised parties and 13 independents.
The prominent Congress candidates contesting are Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi from Titabor, Speaker of the outgoing assembly Pranab Gogoi from Sibsagar and former Union Minister and prominent tea tribe leader Paban Singh Ghatowar.
In a bid to ensure that hate advertisements do not find place in newspapers of Assam and West Bengal on Sunday and today, the Electuion Commission has made it clear that only “pre-certified” advertisements are published in print media.