With political parties in Assam busy with candidate selection and campaigning for the ensuing Assembly polls in the state, the Election Commission on Friday issued notification for the second phase of polling in 39 constituencies, officials said.

The 126-member Assam Assembly will go to the polls in three phases on March 27, April 1 and April 6. The results will be declared on May 2.

According to the EC schedule, the first phase polling for 47 constituencies would be held on March 27 while the second phase polling would be held for 39 seats on April 1 and the remaining 40 constituencies will go to the polls on April 6.

In all, 2,32,44,454 voters are eligible to cast their votes in the three phases this time. The number of eligible voters was 1,98,66,496 in the last Assembly polls held in 2016.

Election officials said that a little over 80 lakh voters can exercise their franchise in the first phase and over 73 lakh electorate are eligible to cast their votes in the second phase.

According to the election officials, with the issuance of the notifications, the process of filing of nomination papers has begun for the first two phases and the last date of filing nomination for the first two phases is March 9 and March 12, respectively.

The first phase of polling on March 27 would be held in 12 districts, mostly covering eastern Assam. In the second phase on April 1, polling would take place in central and southern Assam’s 13 districts.

The BJP, after the Bodoland Territorial Council polls in December last year, had forged an alliance with the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) after discarding then partner Bodoland People’s Front (BPF).

The BJP has decided to fight the polls in western Assam’s tribal dominated Bodoland area in alliance with the new ally UPPL, besides Asom Gana Parishad and the Gana Suraksha Party (GSP).

The Congress, which was in power in the state for 15 years (2001-2016) until the BJP-led alliance came to power in Assam in 2016, has formed a ‘Mahagathbandhan’ or ‘Mahajot’ (grand alliance) with three Left parties — CPI(M), CPI and CPI(ML) — along with the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), the Anchalik Gana Morcha and BPF, three regional parties having a political base among the Muslims and indigenous people.

The BPF joined the Congress-led grand alliance on Sunday, a day after snapping its ties with the ruling BJP.

Another regional alliance comprising Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP), Raijor Dal and a few other local parties has formed a third front to take on both the BJP and the Congress led alliances.

–IANS

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