Polling underway for first phase of Assam elections

Guwahati, Apr 4: Polling for the first phase of Assembly elections in Assam for 62 of the 126 seats is going on today.

The voting, which started at 7 a.m. will continue till 3 p.m.

Four hundred and eighty five candidates, including 38 women, are in the fray for this phase. Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have fielded candidates in all the 62 constituencies, while Asom Gana Parishad is contesting 51 constituencies.

There are 157 independent candidates in the fray for this phase.

Among the prominent candidates whose fate would be sealed in this phase include Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, Power Minister Pradyut Bordoloi, state president of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Ranjit Dutta, and senior Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) leader Brindaban Goswami.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made to ensure free and fair polls.

A total of 2,033 booths have been identified as hyper sensitive, 2,985 sensitive and 817 hamlets as vulnerable.

Altogether 346 companies of central paramilitary forces have been deployed for the polls with 65 to 75 per cent of polling stations, including most of the critical ones, will be covered by central paramilitary forces and the rest by police, micro-observers and video-cameras.

The second phase of elections will be held on April 11. Results are due on May 13.