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High-stakes battle begins today

High-stakes battle begins today
Highlights

General Elections: Assam, Tripura High-Stakes Battle Begins Today, The nine-phase Lok Sabha election commences on Monday from the North-East India, with polling in five of the 14 seats in Assam and one of the two constituencies in Tripura.

  • First phase of polling in Assam, Tripura today
  • 5 out of 14, 1 out of 2 in Tripura to go to polls
  • Total no. of candidates: 54 (Assam) and 13 (Tripura)
  • Cong major force in Assam, where it’s in power CPM dominant party in Tripura State
  • An electorate of 64,41,634, including 31,20,067 women, will exercise their franchise at 8,588 polling stations on Monday
  • All polling booths have been declared smoking free, first in North East and third State in country With 4.5 lakh first time voters, Assam will see a total of 1.87 crore electorate casting their ballots

New Delhi: The nine-phase Lok Sabha election commences on Monday from the North-East India, with polling in five of the 14 seats in Assam and one of the two constituencies in Tripura. The six are part of the 543 constituencies where polling will take place from April 7 to May 12. The results will be known on May 16. The Congress is the major force in Assam, which rules the State, while the CPM is the dominant force in Tripura. But the Opposition is aggressive in both States. Polling is expected to start at 7 am and is likely to end by 5 pm. An electorate of 64,41,634, including 31,20,067 women, will exercise their franchise at 8,588 polling stations. For the first time in the North-East region and the third time in the country after Kashmir and Bihar, all polling booths have been declared smoking-free. Security measures have been tightened for the polls with additional companies of security forces deployed.

General Elections: High-stakes battle begins today

Congress, BJP, Trinamool Congress, AIUDF, AGP, AAP, SUCI, CPM, AIFB and SP are contesting in the five seats in Tezpur, Koliabor, Jorhat, Dibrugarh and Lakhimpur in the Congress-ruled state. Among the 51 candidates are Union Ministers Ranee Narah and Paban Singh Ghatowar, former Union Minister and sitting MLA Bijoy Krishna Handique, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi's son Gourav Gogoi and Bhupen Kumar Bora for the Congress. Congress rebel and Independent candidate Moni Kumar Subba is also in the fray.

Around 3,000 polling stations declared critical in Assam

Guwahati: About 12 per cent of the 24,267 polling stations in Assam have been identified as 'critical', making it a challenge for the Election Commission to hold the three-phase elections in the State in a free and fair mode. Assam Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) S N Singh told PTI that 3,000 polling stations have been identified as critical as per the Election Commission's guideline. A polling station is identified 'critical' on the basis of its vulnerability to violence by insurgents or any other disturbing factor like rigging or threat to voters, affecting a free and fair election process, he said.

Official sources said in one of the most elaborate exercises in Assam over 235 companies of security forces from both the State and the Centre have been deployed. The security agencies have identified many districts in the State as critical and have decided to increase presence of forces by one to eight companies in each district compared to the last election in 2009. Over three lakh litres of liquor and Rs 60 lakh cash have been seized in Assam, the sources said, adding security agencies have also issued over 4,000 non-bailable arrest warrants since poll notification.

Assam will see three-phase polling starting with Monday when elections will be held in five constituencies. The second and third phases of elections will take place on April 12 and 24. In the first phase of polling in five constituencies voters will exercise their franchise in 8,588 booths, while the second phase for three seats will be conducted in 3,698 polling stations. In the third phase elections will be held for six Lok Sabha seats in 11,981 election centres in Assam. With 4.5 lakh first time voters, Assam will see a total of 1.87 crore electorate casting their ballots.

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