AGP unhappy with Assam poll schedule, Congress welcomes it

Guwahati, March 2 (IANS) Assam's main opposition Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) Tuesday voiced unhappiness over the two-phase poll schedule announced for the state, saying the party would have preferred four-phased assembly elections instead.

Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Quraishi Tuesday announced in New Delhi the poll schedule for five states. Assam will have a two-phased polling with the first phase covering 62 assembly seats on April 4 and the remaining 64 seats on April 11. Counting of votes takes place May 13.

'We are not at all happy with the poll schedule as we gave in writing to the Election Commission seeking a four-phased election. Considering the fact that Assam is an insurgency-prone state and there is serious law and order problem, there could be difficulties in conducting the vote in two phases,' AGP president Chandra Mohan Patowary told IANS.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the ruling Congress party in Assam have welcomed the poll schedule.

'We welcome the poll schedule and the party is ready to face the mandate. We shall put up candidates in all the 126 assembly seats,' BJP Assam state president Ranjit Dutta said.

'We are confident and ready for the polls and am sure the Congress party would make a hat-trick by winning the assembly elections for the third straight term,' Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said.

The term of the Congress government expires May 28.