Guwahati | Jagran Politics Desk: Will the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) retain power or Congress will make a comeback in Assam? All these questions will be answered soon as the polling for the 126-assembly seats in Assam begins on Saturday.

This year, the assembly elections in Assam will be held in three phases -- March 27, April 1 and April 6 -- while the counting of votes will take place on May 2. In the first phase, polling will be held on 47 seats across 12 districts 264 candidates, including 23 women, being in the fray.

The Election Commission has said that polling will begin at 7 am and continue till 6 pm to ensure that all required COVID-19 protocols are followed. It has also deployed central security forces to maintain law and order in the region.

As per the official figures, over 81.09 lakh people -- including 40.77 lakh male, 40.32 lakh women, 124 of the third gender and nine overseas voters -- will exercise their franchise in the first phase of polling in Assam.

Triangular contest in Assam

A triangular contest between the ruling BJP, Congress-led Mahajot alliance and the newly formed Assam Jatiya Parishad is expected in Assam this year, especially during the first phase of polling.

In the first phase, the ruling BJP is contesting on 39 seats while its alliance partner Asom Gana Parishad will fight on ten constituencies.

The Congress, on the other hand, will fight on 43 constituencies. Its allies the AIUDF, CPI(ML-L), RJD and Anchalik Gana Morcha (contesting as an independent) will contest on one seat each. The AJP, meanwhile, will fight on 41 seats while there are 78 independents.

In the first phase of polling, the fate of the several important candidates -- including Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Congress' Rajib Lochan Pegu, Assembly Speaker Hitendranath Goswami, Rana Goswami, Bhaskar Jyoti Baruah and Hemanta Kalita will be decided.

The fate of several ministers -- Ranjit Dutta (Behali), Naba Kumar Doley (Dhakuakha), Jogen Mohan (Mahmora), Terash Gowala (Duliajan) and Sanjoy Kishan (Tinsukia) -- will also be decided in this phase.

The BJP, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, is banking on the development works carried out by CM Sonowal in the state. The saffron party has promised that it will enact the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act and stop the infiltration in Assam if it manages to retain the power in the state.

The Congress, however, believes that it will make a comeback in Assam while the NDA alliance will be wiped out of the state.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma