Polling began at 7 am on Saturday for the five seats of the Assembly by-election in Assam with the maintenance of strict Covid-19 protocol.

By-elections are being conducted in five assembly constituencies–Gossaigaon, Bhabanipur, Tamulpur, Mariani and Thowra amid tight security.

Around 7.96 lakh voters will decide the electoral fate of 31 candidates in the five Assembly seats that fell vacant due to resignations and deaths of MLAs.

The ruling BJP has fielded its candidates in three seats leaving the other two to alliance partner UPPL.

The Congress put up nominees in all five, while its former allies, the AIUDF and the BPF, are contesting in two and one seats respectively.

The prominent contestants include Rupjyoti Kurmi, Sushanta Borgohain, Phanidhar Talukdar (all BJP); Luhit Konwar and Jowel Tudu (both Congress); Jubbar Ali and Khairul Anam Khandakar (both AIUDF) and Jiron Basumatary of the UPPL.
Voting will take place till 5 pm while counting will be held on November 2.

The Election Commission has appointed general, police, and expenditure observers in the constituencies for free and fair polling.

Personnel of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) have been deployed at each polling station while webcasting will be done in all the 1,176 polling stations for monitoring the voting process live on October 30, as per the EC’s direction

In the 126-seat House, the ruling BJP has 59 MLAs, its allies AGP and UPPL nine and five MLAs each, respectively.

The opposition Congress has 27, AIUDF 15, BPF three and CPI (M) one MLA, besides an Independent legislator.

By-polls in Gossaigaon and Tamulpur were necessitated due to death of the sitting MLAs, while the incumbents of Bhabanipur, Mariani and Thowra resigned from their seats to join the ruling BJP.

Gossaigaon seat was won by the Bodo People”s Front (BPF) in the March-April Assembly election, while the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) had bagged Tamulpur. Mariani and Thowra had Congress MLAs, while Bhabanipur was cornered by AIUDF.

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