Assam Elections: 2nd phase polling ends with 74.69% turnout, EC issues notice to Himanta Sarma
Dispur | Jagran Politics Desk: The second phase polling for assembly elections in Assam concluded on Thursday with a voter turnout of 74.69 per cent, said the election commission. The highest turnout was recorded at 83.10 per cent at Nowgong while the lowest turnout was 63.53 per cent in Jamunamukh.
Though the voting was temporarily halted at polling stations in Silchar and Nagaon due to malfunctioning of electronic voting machines (EVMs), the election commission said that the second phase of polling in Assam was conducted peacefully across the 39 seats.
The EC also issued a show cause notice to Himanta Biswa Sarma, seeking his reply on allegations levelled against him of threatening opposition leader Hagrama Mohilary. The EC issued the notice following a complaint filed by the Congress on March 30 alleging that Sarma had openly threatened to send Mohilary to jail by misusing the National Investigation Agency.
On Thursday, the fate of four state ministers, deputy Speaker Aminul Haque Laskar and several significant opposition leaders were decided.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had fielded candidates on 34 seats while its allies -- Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and United People's Party Liberal (UPPL) -- contested on six and three seats respectively.
The Congress-led 'Mahajot' alliance, on the other hand, fielded candidates on all 39 seats while the newly formed Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) contested on 19 constituencies.
The state, in its three-phased polls, is witnessing a direct fight between the BJP-Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and Congress-AIUDF alliance. The BJP is banking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's governance, Central public welfare schemes, and on the image of Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal.
While Congress is heading into the battle against the ruling party bringing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) to the fore.
Congress has stitched a coalition named "Mahajath" with All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), Communist Party of India, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Communist Party of India (Marxist Leninist) Liberation, the Anchalik Gana Marcha (AGM) and the Bodoland Peoples' Front (BPF) to oust the BJP government from office.
On the other hand, BJP is seeking to return to power with the help of Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and United People's Party Liberal (UPPL).
Jailed CAA Activist Akhil Gogoi's Raijor Dal has stitched an alliance with Assam Jatiya Parishad.
This is the first Assembly elections in Assam after the state witnessed widespread protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which aims to grant citizenship to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Christian, Jain, Parsi refugees who came to India from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014, and the publication of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) list.
The Congress leadership has strongly taken up the issue during its campaign. Rahul Gandhi has promised that if Congress comes to power in Assam, then it will do away with the implementation of the CAA.
However, Assam BJP chief Ranjeet Kumar Dass has said that the party will soon implement the CAA if it is re-elected to office. He further claimed that the CAA is not an issue in the upcoming Assembly elections in the state as people will vote logically, not emotionally.
Assam had recorded 79.93 voter turnout in the first phase of elections on March 27. Polling for the next two phases will be held on April 6 while the counting of votes will take place on May 2.
(With inputs from ANI)
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma