A Model Polling Station at Jorhat. (File image)

Voting began on Saturday morning at 7 am in 47 Assembly constituencies of Assam in the first phase of three-phase elections amid tight security and Covid-19 guidelines in place.

A total of 47 assembly segments in 12 upper and central Assam districts are voting in the first phase.

In the first phase 81, 09,815 voters will decide the electoral fate of over 264 candidates.

The first phase of the election witnessed a voter turnout of around three per cent till 8 pm on Saturday.

A number of key candidates have cast their votes in their respective polling stations on Saturday morning.

BJP candidate and Golaghat sitting MLA Mrinal Saikia, AGP candidate and sitting Amguri MLA Pradip Hazarrika, Congress candidate from Amguri Ankita Dutta, Dibrugarh BJP MLA Prashanta Phukan have exercised their franchise.

Most of the constituencies in the first phase are likely to witness a straight fight between the ruling BJP-led NDA and the principal opposition Congress.

Opinion polls have predicted a close fight between the ruling alliance and the Congress-led ‘grand alliance’, and if the NDA has to retain power, the first phase holds the key.

Of the 47 seats which will go to the polls in the first phase, the BJP had won 27 in the previous elections in 2016, while its alliance partner AGP had secured 8.

The Congress had emerged winner in 9 constituencies, the AIUDF in 2 seats, and one constituency had gone to an independent candidate.

Among the major parties, the BJP has fielded candidates in 39 of the seats of Phase I, while the Congress is in fray in 43 seats.

The AGP is contesting from 10 seats and the AIUDF from one constituency.

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