GUWAHATI, Dec 3 - Campaigning for the first phase of panchayat elections in the State ended today.
Altogether 27 election districts will go to rural body polls in the first phase on December 5.
State Election Commission officials said no major untoward incident has been reported so far and the canvassing was by and large peaceful.
�Also no complaints of election code violation have been received by the commission. In some far flung areas, poll parties have already started to move,� the officials said.
The hectic campaigning saw a bitter war of words between the BJP and AGP, despite the both being in an alliance in the State. The mudslinging centred around the issues of illegal migrants and the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, besides corruption and development.
In the first phase polls, to be held in sixteen administrative districts, 796 candidates are contesting for 251 zila parishad member seats, 3,799 candidates fighting for 1,304 anchalik panchayat member seats, 4,155 candidates vying for 1,304 gaon panchayat president posts and 34,765 candidates are in fray for 13,040 gaon panchayat member seats.
Altogether 442 candidates have been declared winners uncontested in the election districts which will go to polls in the first phase. Of them 250 are from BJP, 106 from Congress, 15 from AGP, three from AIUDF, 65 independents and three from BPF.
The Assam Panchayat (Amendment) Act, 2018, which came into effect from March 19 this year, has laid down new norms for qualification of a candidate.
For general candidates, the educational qualification to contest polls for gaon panchayat member is Class VI pass, for gaon panchayat president and anchalik panchayat member, it is Class X pass and for zila parishad member, it is Class XII pass. A person having more than two living children (if the third child is born after commencement of the Act) cannot contest the polls. Also, a candidate will have to have a toilet at home.
The last polls to the local bodies were held between December, 2012 and February, 2013.