GUWAHATI, April 9 - The field of Lok Sabha contenders in Assam is less crowded this time as compared to the previous two parliamentary elections.
With a total of 145 candidates in the fray from the 14 Lok Sabha constituencies of the State for the forthcoming polls, the number of contestants is fewer than in 2014 and 2009.
There were 162 contestants in Assam in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and 158 candidates during the 2009 polls.
Interestingly, there are fewer contestants this time in 10 out of the 14 constituencies of the State in comparison with the 2014 elections.
In two constituencies � Autonomous District (Diphu) and Dhubri � there has been no change in the number of contenders, while in two others � Dibrugarh and Kokrajhar � the number of candidates has increased.
There are eight candidates in the fray from the Dibrugarh constituency this time as against six in 2014, while the Kokrajhar seat has nine contestants now, compared to six in the last Lok Sabha polls.
Diphu, with five candidates in the fray, and Dhubri with 15 aspirants, have the same numbers of contestants as in the last parliamentary elections.
In the remaining 10 constituencies of the State, the number of contestants has gone down this time in comparison with 2014.
Tezpur has seven candidates in the fray for the ensuing elections as against nine in 2014, Kaliabor has seven as against 13 last time, Jorhat has eight as against 10, Lakhimpur has 11 compared to 13, Karimganj has 14 contestants this time compared to 15 in the last elections, while Silchar has 13 now as against 17 candidates in the 2014 polls.
Similarly, 11 candidates are contesting from Mangaldai this time as against 12 in 2014, while in Nagaon the number of contestants has gone down to seven now from eight last time, in Barpeta to 13 as against 15, and in Guwahati 17 candidates are in the fray, compared to 18 in the last Lok Sabha polls.
It is also noteworthy that till the early 1980s, the number of Lok Sabha poll candidates in the State used to be much less but that changed in the post Assam Accord period.
Assam had 40 candidates in the first Lok Sabha elections held in 1951-52, a figure which came down to 31 contestants in the 1957, before rising to 41 in the 1962 polls.
There were 47 Lok Sabha poll contestants from the State in the 1967 elections, 78 in 1971 and 40 candidates in 1977.
With polling taking place in only the two Barak Valley constituencies during the 1980 general elections, only seven candidates were in the fray in the State that year.
While the rest of the country voted in 1984 to elect the eighth Lok Sabha, polling to the constituencies of Assam and Punjab were held only in 1985.
A total of 106 candidates contested those elections from the constituencies of the State.
No voting took place in Assam during the 1989 parliamentary polls. In the 1991 parliamentary elections, there were 167 contestants in Assam, the highest ever, and that record has not been broken till now.
There were 137 candidates in Assam in the 1996 Lok Sabha elections, 101 contestants in 1998, 115 in 1999, 116 in 2004, 158 in 2009, and 162 in the 2014 polls.