GUWAHATI, Dec 8 - Campaigning for the second phase of Bodo Territorial Council (BTC) elections, to 19 seats on December 10, ended on Tuesday evening.
BJP�s North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) Convenor and state minister Himanta Biswa Sarma led a high-decibel campaign coupled with dozens of bike rallies, padyatras and public meetings for over a month.
Other top leaders, including Bodoland People�s Front (BPF)�s Hagrama Mohilary and United People�s Party Liberal (UPPL)�s Pramod Boro, too led a high-pitched campaign for the 19 constituencies spread across Kokrajhar and Chirang districts.
People were seen flouting the coronavirus safety regulations with most of them not wearing face covers, and huddling in groups, besides clicking selfies with their leaders.
Sarma, Mohilary and other political leaders were hardly seen wearing masks or following social distancing norms along with their followers during campaigning.
In the second phase of polling, 10,23,404 voters will decide the future of 111 candidates by exercising their franchise across 1,407 polling stations in Kokrajhar and Chirang districts.
The much-awaited voting for the BTC began on Monday with over 77.01 per cent voters exercising their franchise in the first phase of polling for 21 seats in Udalguri and Baksa districts, where 130 candidates have contested.
The counting for both the phases will be held on December 12
Out of the total 3,164 polling booths, the authorities have marked 606 as very sensitive and 1,266 as sensitive, and arranged tight security measures in those, an ASEC official said.
The BTC was formed in 2003 and elections are being held since 2005.
The election to the 40-member BTC was scheduled on April 4, but it was postponed indefinitely due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
Subsequently, Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi assumed administration of the Council on expiry of its five-year term on April 27, 2020.
Hagrama of the BPF led the campaign for his party, which is ruling the BTC since 2005 while its state ally BJP is pulling all gears to dethrone the BPF from the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR).
The BJP and BPF are contesting separately and both the parties were engaged in bitter campaign with the usage of many unparliamentary words by the leaders of the two parties.
The BJP is running its first state government in Assam in alliance with the BPF and Asom Gana Parishad. � PTI