Assam Assembly Elections: Phase one passes without incident

72.14 percent voter turnout, no reports of violence as polling remains peaceful

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Polling took place for 47 out of Assam’s total 126 Assembly constituencies on Saturday. Out of the 264 candidates trying their luck, there were three players who gathered the maximum amount of attention: Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, state Congress chief Ripun Bora and Raijor Dal’s Akhil Gogoi.

Sonowal heads the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – Asom Gana Parishad (AGM) alliance government in the state that has suffered from the twin blows of floods and Covid-19 in the recent past. He is contesting from Majuli, a seat reserved from Scheduled Tribes. The BJP is contesting 39 seats, while its alliance partner is contesting 10, leading to an overlap in two constituencies, Lakhimpur and Naharkatiya, where both parties have fielded candidates.

The movement against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is also still going strong in the state. This is why peasant’s rights leader Akhil Gogoi, who is the president of the newly created Raijor Dal has gained enough popularity to contest elections whilst being behind bars for vociferously opposing the CAA. He is contesting from Sivasagar, where his supporters gathered in large numbers on Thursday in a show of support.

The Congress has joined hands with the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), CPI, CPI (M), CPI (ML), and the Anchalik Gana Morcha (AGM) in an alliance dubbed Mahajot, in a bid to consolidate the secular vote. Ripun Bora is one of the most recognised faces of the party in the state. He is contesting from Gohpur.

The newly formed Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP), a party backed by two student organisations: All Assam Students Union (AASU) and Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP), is testing political waters for the first time by contesting 41 seats.

Polling remained peaceful in the state, which saw a turnout of 72.14 percent.


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