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Stage Is Set For 1st Phase Of LS Polls In State

Direct, Triangular Contests To Decide Fate Of 35 Candidates In 5 Constituencies 

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GUWAHATI, April 18: Assam is all set to witness direct and triangular contests for the first of the three-phased Lok Sabha polls in five constituencies to decide the fate of 35 candidates, including that of Union minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

Polling will begin at 7 am and conclude at 5 pm in Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Kaziranga, Sonitpur and Lakhimpur.

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A total electorate of 86,47,869, comprising 43,64,859 women who outnumber the 42,82,887 male voters, and 123 third genders, are eligible to exercise their franchise in 10,001 polling booths.

Voting will be held amid tight security with 60 companies of security forces deployed across the five constituencies.

The BJP is contesting in all the five seats, the Congress in four and supporting the Assam Jatiya Parishad contestant in one, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in two and the All India Trinamool Congress and CPI(M) in one seat each.

A direct contest is on the cards between the BJP and Congress in Jorhat, Kaziranga and Lakhimpur while in Dibrugarh and Sonitpur, there is likely to be a triangular fight among the ruling party, Congress, AJP and AAP.

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The prestigious Dibrugarh constituency has three candidates in fray with Union minister Sarbananda Sonowal, a Rajya Sabha MP, pitted against the United Opposition Forum, Assam (UOFA) candidate Lurinjyoti Gogoi of the AJP and Aam Aadmi Party’s Manoj Dhanowar.

 

In Jorhat, four candidates are in contention, with Lok Sabha’s deputy leader of the opposition Gaurav Gogoi locked in a direct contest with sitting BJP MP Topon Gogoi.

Gogoi had to shift his constituency to Jorhat from Kaliabor, which has been renamed as Kaziranga following a delimitation exercise in the state last year.

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In Kaziranga, BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Kamakhya Prasad Tasa is locked in a direct contest with former Congress MLA Roselina Tirkey, with both candidates belonging to the tea workers’ community.

Kaziranga has the highest number of 11 candidates in the fray.

In Sonitpur, also renamed from the earlier Tezpur after delimitation, there are eight nominees with a triangular contest likely between BJP MLA Ranjit Dutta, Congress candidate Prem Lal Ganju and AAP’s Rishiraj Kaundinya.

Lakhimpur has nine contestants, prominent among them being sitting BJP MP Pradan Baruah and Uday Shankar Hazarika of the Congress.

Assam chief electoral officer Anurag Goel said all arrangements have been made for conducting the polls in a free, fair, safe and peaceful manner.

Live monitoring and webcasting will be available in all the 5,509 polling stations, as per the EC’s direction, he said.

Out of the 10,001 polling booths in the first phase, 92 are model polling stations, 11 are People with Disability (PwD)-managed ones and 752 are female-managed booths.

A total of 40,004 polling and presiding officers will be engaged, and Ballot Units (BUs), Control Unit (CUs) and VVPATs will be put to use.

Assured Minimum Facilities (AMF) like provision for drinking water, adequate furniture, waiting shed, toilet, lighting, creche for children, signage and ramps will be available at all the polling stations, officials said.

Besides, arrangements like transport facility for the elderly, assistance from volunteers and provision for wheelchairs have been made at the booths. (PTI)

 

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The Hills Timeshttps://www.thehillstimes.in/
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