The voting of first phase Assam Legislative Assembly Election 2021 is undergoing smoothly in 11,537 polling stations in 47 assembly constituencies mostly situation in Upper Assam from this morning. The voting commenced from seven of this morning and will last till six evening. Altogether 264 candidates of different political parties including present Chief Minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal are in fray in this phase.
The overall poll percentage recorded till 11 am is 25.83 percentages and considering the poling percentage trends, high number of voter turnout is expected in this phase by this evening. So far, the poll process is going on peacefully and no unwanted incident related to the poll is reported from these constituencies. The election officials are also monitoring the process closely for free and fair election.
The Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sanowal also exercises his rights and cast his vote at the polling station at Jeevan Phukan Nagar of Dibrugarh. AGP leader Atul Bora also casts vote in Bokakhat.
Meanwhile, 36 students of Kasturba Gandhi Valika Vidyalaya situated at Bordubi in Tinsukia assembly constituency were confirmed as COVID-19 positive yesterday evening.
The contact tracing and other preventive measures have already been taken. So the percentage of voting Tinsukia constituency is slightly less comparing to other constituencies. However, there is no deterrence among voters and they are in long line wearing masks and maintaining social distancing to cast the vote.
Meanwhile, in West Bengal no untoward incident has been reported so far. Polling is going on peacefully amid tight security since morning. Voting will be held till 6.30 in the evening. 36.09 percent of polling has been reported till 11 am. Polling is being held in 30 constituencies spread over 5 districts in the first phase.
All Covid protocols are being followed in 10 thousand 288 booths across the districts. The people were seen standing in long queues in front of the Polling Stations right from the beginning. All the necessary facilities and security arrangements have been made to ensure free and fair polling during this phase.
The Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) is being used along with Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) at every Polling Station, with a view to enhance the transparency and credibility of the election process. The polling will be conducted till 6.00 P.M. in Assam while it will be held till 6.30 P.M. in West Bengal.
191 candidates including 21 women are vying for the 30 seats spread over five districts during the initial phase. The state is witnessing eight-phase elections this time.
Over 74 lakh voters including 36.28 lakh women and 63 Third Gender persons will decide the fate of these candidates. More than 8,200 Polling Stations have been set up in the First Phase for this purpose.
Out of 30 seats, BJP is contesting in 29 and alliance partner AJSU is fighting from the Baghmundi seat in Purulia district while TMC is contesting in 29 seats and supporting an independent candidate in Joypur Constituency. Congress, Left parties and their alliance partner Indian Secular Front are fighting under the banner of Sanyukt Morcha.
The prominent leaders contesting during the First Phase include AITC Minister Shantiram Mahato from Balrampur, Deputy Leader of the Congress Legislative Party Nepalchandra Mahato, former CPI (M) Minister Susanta Ghosh from Shlboni and Deblina Hembram from Ranibundh and former MP Dr. Pulin Bihari Baske from Keshiary along with former BJP MP Nara Hari Mahato from Joypur. Film actress June Maliah is also contesting from Medinipur on AITC ticket.
The high-pitch electioneering campaign going on in full swing in respect of the Second and Third Phase of Assembly Elections in Assam and West Bengal and also for the single-phase elections in Kerala and Tamil Nadu as well as the Union Territory of Puducherry.
The Second Phase of polling in these two states will be conducted on 1st of April in 39 Assembly Constituencies of Assam where the total number of candidates will be 346 and that in case of 30 Constituencies of West Bengal will be 171.
Third Phase polling in these two states will be held on 6th of April when 338 candidates will be contesting for the 40 seats of Assam and 205 candidates for 31 seats of West Bengal.
The single-phase polling in Kerala, Tamil Nadu along with the Union Territory of Puducherry will also be held on 6th of the next month. While there will be 957 candidates in fray for the 140 Assembly Constituencies of Kerala, the total number of candidates will be 4,125 in respect of 234 Constituencies in Tamil Nadu. In Puducherry, 324 candidates will be vying for the 30 Assembly seats.
Besides, the Lok Sabha by-polls will be conducted simultaneously for Kanniyakumari seat in Tamil Nadu where there will be 12 candidates in the fray and also for Malappuram seat in Kerala where six candidates will be taking part in the electoral battle.
During the Fourth Phase of Assembly Elections, the scenario of electoral contests became clear last evening after the withdrawal of candidature. During the Fourth Phase, 44 ACs in West Bengal will go to polls on 10th of April while 45 ACs will go to polls in the Fifth Phase on 17th of April. The nomination process for the Fifth Phase will continue till 30th of March and the scrutiny will be undertaken on 31st of March.
The nominations are also being filed for simultaneous By-Elections of two Lok Sabha seats including Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh and Belgaum in Karnataka along with 14 Assembly Constituencies in eleven states. The ACs going in for the by-polls include three in Rajasthan, two in Karnataka and one each in Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Telangana and Uttarakhand.
Meanwhile, the process of filing nominations for the Sixth Phase of elections in West Bengal got underway yesterday. The nomination process for this phase will continue till 3rd of April and the scrutiny of nominations will be undertaken on 5th of April.
The last date of withdrawal of candidature will be 7th of April and 43 Assembly Constituencies will go to polls in this phase on 22nd of April. The counting of votes will be taken up on 2nd of May together.