GUWAHATI, April 21 (PTI): Stage is set for elections to Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) on Friday, being held after a gap of nine years, with EVMs being used for all 60 wards under GMC for the first time.
Political parties have gone all out to woo the voters, promising a flood-free and crime-free city with piped water to all households and all other basic civic amenities.
Altogether 197 candidates are in fray in 57 wards, while BJP candidates in three wards have already been elected uncontested.
Chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma led the BJP’s election campaign, addressing multiple rallies across the city, while the saffron party’s coalition partner at Dispur, Asom Gana Parishad’s (AGP), campaign was helmed by Agriculture minister and party president Atul Bora.
Assam Pradesh Congress Committee chief Bhupen Borah led the state’s main Opposition party on its campaign trail.
The other parties were also not to be left behind with Aam Aadmi Party bringing in its Delhi MLA Atishi Marlena to woo voters, while Assam Jatiya Parishad had its chief Lurinjyoti Gogoi leading the campaign.
Besides door-to-door canvassing and rallies, the parties took out car and bike rallies through the streets of the city with the campaign reaching its crescendo on Wednesday, when the campaign ended.
The ruling BJP, which is contesting in 53 wards, has announced a slew of initiatives for improving infrastructure in the city if voted to power in the civic polls.
In its ‘Sankalpa Patra’ (election manifesto) which was released by chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, the saffron party has assured of round-the-clock piped water to all households.
It has vowed to make the city free of water logging problems by undertaking different initiatives, including de-siltation of drains and river channels using modern technology.
Making the city crime-free, providing land rights to city residents, introduction of an integrated traffic management system and scientific waste management are among assurances made by the BJP.
The BJP had left seven wards for its ally AGP to field candidates from.
The Congress, which is in fray in 54 wards, in its manifesto, has promised drinking water to all households within 100 days, setting up of 100 vending zones for small businesses within 30 days, installing functional street lights and making the city flood and pollution-free.
The notification for elections to the 60 wards of GMC was issued on March 23 and the model code of conduct came into force with immediate effect.
A total electorate of 7,96,829, comprising 3,96,891 males, 3,99,911 females and 27 of the third gender, will be eligible to exercise their franchise in 789 polling stations spread across the 60 wards.
Counting of votes will be held on April 24.