GUWAHATI, April 2 - Campaign for the first phase of the Assam Assembly polls concluded at 5 pm this evening.
Polls in the first phase will be held in 65 constituencies on April 4. The second phase, of polling comprising 61 constituencies, is scheduled for April 11.
Campaigning for the first phase witnessed hectic campaigning by the main political parties � Congress, BJP-AGP-BPF combine and AIUDF. The BJP, which is contesting in 54 constituencies, has fielded a large number of Central leaders, including Union ministers, as the saffron brigade is in with a realistic chance of putting up a good show in the State�s Assembly polls for the first time.
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed public rallies in eight constituencies, BJP president Amit Shah addressed meetings in seven constituencies. In all, BJP national leaders, including a number of Union ministers, were present in the 49 constituencies during the first phase of campaigning.
For the Congress, UPA chairperson and party president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi were the star campaigners. Several other prominent Congress leaders, including Jairam Ramesh, Salman Khurshid, Anand Sharma and Raj Babbar, were among those who addressed public rallies. While the anti-incumbency is a factor against the ruling party, which is seeking a record fourth successive term in the State, the party leaders are confident about a decent performance.
For the AIUDF, party president Badruddin Ajmal was the star campaigner as he addressed a large number of election rallies.
The first phase of the polls will cover Upper Assam, the two hill districts and the Barak Valley. A total of 496 candidates are in the fray for the first phase of polls. Among the candidates contesting are Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and BJP State president Sarbananda Sonowal.
The parties made last-minute efforts to woo the 95,11,732 electorate, including 45,95,712 females, who will exercise their franchise to decide the fate of 539 candidates � 496 males and 43 females � in the fray for the first phase in 50 constituencies of the Brahmaputra Valley and 15 in the Barak Valley.