Assam Phase-I Voting Live: In Phase-I, there are 81,09,815 eligible voters.
2021 Assam Assembly Election Phase 1 Voting Live News: Voting for 47 constituencies going to polls in Phase-I of the Assam Assembly Elections 2021 is being held today. The fate of 264 candidates will be sealed today. There are 23 women candidates and 78 independents in the fray for the first phase polls. In Phase-I, there are 81,09,815 eligible voters. Of these, 40,77,210 are males, 40,32,481 are females and 124 are transgenders. Given this, it won’t be unfair to say that women voters will hold the key to elections. The ruling BJP is contesting 39 seats and its partner AGP 10. The two allies are engaged in friendly contest in Lakhimpur and Naharkatiya constituencies. The opposition grand alliance is contesting all the seats, with the Congress putting up candidates in 43, and the AIUDF, CPI(ML-L), RJD and Anchalik Gana Morcha (contesting as Independent) in one 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. The voters will be deciding the fate of Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Speaker Hitendranath Goswami, state Congress chief Ripun Borah and a host of ministers today. Most of these seats are likely to witness triangular contest between the ruling BJP-AGP alliance, the Congress-led opposition grand alliance and the newly formed Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP).
Polling has begun at 7 a.m and conclude at 6 p.m, with the timing extended by an hour to ensure COVID protocols are followed, officials said. Women officials will exclusively conduct the exercise in 479 polling stations. Central forces are assisting the state police in maintaining law and order during the polling. An official said there will be enough security personnel to cover all polling stations. Patrolling has been intensified and strict vigil is being kept in all vulnerable areas. The voting in phase-I will set the tone of the next two phases to be held on April 1 and April 6. Jonai in the Dhemaji district is the constituency with the highest number of electors. It has 449 polling stations and 3,11,660 registered voters. On the other hand, Thowra in Sivasagar is the constituency having the lowest number of electors. It has 165 polling stations and ]1,15,364 electors. In wake of COVID-19, the Election Commission has reduced the number of voters per polling booth to 1000 from earlier 1500. While the BJP is contesting the polls in alliance with AGP and the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL), the Congress has tied up with Badruddin Azmal’s AIUDF, Anchalik Gana Morcha (AGM) and three Left parties, CPI, CPI-M and CPI-ML. Newly formed regional outfits Assam Jatiya Parishad and Raijor Dal are also contesting the polls.
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.
The Opinion polls have predicted BJP’s victory in Assam but a tough fight cannot be ruled out. In January, the IANS C-Voter ‘Battle for the States’ survey had opined that the ruling BJP may retain power in Assam by winning 77 seats in the 126-seat Assam Assembly. It had predicted a gain of 14 seats for the Congress-led UPA giving it around 40 seats. On the other hand, the ABP-C-Voter opinion poll had predicted 68-76 seats for the NDA while it gave Congress around 43-51 seats. If regional outfits manage to cut into the vote shares of any party, this will certainly affect the results.