The fate of 50 candidates of five Lok Sabha constituencies in Assam will be decided in the second phase polling in Assam on Thursday. Tight security arrangements have been made across the five constituencies to ensure smooth conduct of polling, state Chief Electoral Officer Mukesh Sahu said.
Altogether 170 companies of security forces of both the Centre and the state have been deployed for election duty in the five constituencies - Karimganj (SC), Silchar, Autonomous District (ST), Nowgong and Mangaldoi. A total electorate of 69,10,592, including 33,55,95 women and 180 of the third gender, are able to exercise their franchise in 8,992 polling booths, Sahu told PTI.
Patrolling along the Indo-Bangla border in the two constituencies of Barak Valley, Karimganj (SC) and Silchar, have been intensified, police said. Around 45,960 polling personnel have been deployed in the second phase.
Besides buses, the polling personnel are also using boats, Bullock and horse carts to reach their designated polling stations. The district election officers have also made special arrangements for people with disabilities and senior citizens, particularly those above the age of 80, Sahu said.
There are 137 polling stations with all-woman personnel and 84 model stations in the five constituencies. Three sitting MPs - two of the Congress and one AIUDF - and three BJP MLAs are in the fray.
The Karimganj (SC) seat has the highest number of 14 candidates including sitting AIUDF MP Radheyshyam Biswas, BJP MLA Kripanath Mallah and Congress candidate Swarup Das. In neighbouring Silchar constituency, there are 13 candidates with sitting Congress MP and All India Mahila Congress president Sushmita Dev being in a direct contest with BJP nominee and MLA Rajdeep Roy.
In the Autonomous District (ST), five candidates are in the fray. Sitting three-time Congress MP Biren Singh Engti is engaged in a fight with BJP's Horen Singh Bey. There are seven candidates in Nowgong constituency.
Former Congress minister Pradyut Bordoloi is locked in a direct fight with BJP MLA Rupak Sarmah there. Of the 11 contestants in Mangaldoi, the prominent ones include Congress' Rajya Sabha MP Bhubaneswar Kalita and Dilip Saikia of the BJP.
(With inputs from agencies.)