• 39 seats going to polls • 345 candidates in fray • Total voters 73,44,631
GUWAHATI, March 30 : A high-octane electoral campaign for the second phase of Assam Assembly polls, spearheaded by an array of national and State leaders, came to an end on Tuesday evening.
The second phase of State elections will decide the fate of 345 candidates in 39 seats going to polls on April 1.
Among prominent candidates in the fray are Ministers Parimal Suklabaidya (Dholai), Pijush Hazarika (Jagiroad), Bhabesh Kalita (Rangiya), Sum Ronghang (Diphu), and Rihon Daimary (Udalguri), besides Deputy Speaker Aminul Haque Laskar (Sonai), and Rajya Sabha MP Biswajit Daimary (Panery).
Former Congress Minister Gautam Roy is contesting on a BJP ticket from Katigora.
Other candidates in the fray are former Congress Minister Siddeque Ahmed (Karimganj South), sitting MLA Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha (Karimganj North), sitting AIUDF MLAs Suzamuddin Laskar (Katlicherra) and Nizamuddin Choudhury (Algapur).
AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal’s brother Sirajuddin Ajmal, a former MP and MLA, is also contesting in the second phase from Jamunamukh while former Congress spokesperson Durga Das Boro is contesting as a BPF candidate from Kalaigaon.
The ruling BJP is contesting in 34 seats and its allies, the AGP in six and the UPPL in three, with friendly contests in four constituencies – two each with the AGP and the UPPL.
The Congress is contesting in 27, its partners the AIUDF in eight and BPF in four.
The newly formed Assam Jatiya Parishad is contesting in 17 seats while 174 independents are also in the fray.
A total electorate of 73,44,631, including 37,34,537 males, 36,09,959 females and 135 of the third gender, are eligible to exercise their franchise in 10,592 polling stations in the second phase.
Among the prominent BJP leaders who campaigned for candidates in the second phase are Central Ministers Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari, Narendra Singh Tomar, Jitendra Singh, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan among others.
The BJP, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) are alliance partners.
The prominent personalities to canvass for candidates of the Grand Alliance, comprising the Congress, AIUDF, the Bodoland Peoples’ Front (BPF), the CPI(M), CPI, CPI(ML), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Anchalika Gana Morcha (AGM) included Rajya Sabha MPs Mallikaarjun Kharge, Dr Nasir Hussain and Dr Akhilesh Prasad Singh, Chhatisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel.
Former Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh Kamal Nath and Maharashtra’s Ashok Chavan, AICC leader Randeep Singh Surjewala, RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav, AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal and CPI’s Kanhaiya Kumar had also campaigned for the Grand Alliance candidates.
At the State level, the BJP’s campaign trail was led by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, state unit president Ranjeet Kumar Dass, NEDA convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma, who has so far addressed the maximum number of election rallies, and several Ministers of the outgoing assembly.
For the Congress, state unit president Ripun Bora, Lok Sabha MPs Pradyut Bordoloi, Gaurav Gogoi and Abdul Khaleque led the campaign along with AICC in-charge of Assam Jitendra Singh. – PTI