The estimated voter turnout recorded in the first phase of the BTC polls in Udalguri district till 11.30 am on Monday was more than 36%.

The polling for 10 BTC constituencies in the district started at 7.30 am.

The poll percentages recorded in 5 BTC constituencies in Udalguri district till 11.30 am are No. 31 Khwirwbari (ST) – 32%, No. 32 Bhergaon (ST) – 39.2%, No 33 Nonwi Serfang (Non-ST) – 38.5%, No. 34 Khaling Duar (ST) – 42.1% and No. 35 Mwdwibari (Open) – 33%.

The poll percentages recorded in five other constituencies till 11.30 am are No 36 Harisinga (ST) – 38%; No 37 Dwhwnsiri (ST) – 39%, No 38 Bhairabkunda (ST) – 34%; No 39 Pasnwi Serfang (Non-ST) – 35% and No 40 Rowta (ST) – 34%, according to the data shared by the deputy commissioner-returning officer of Udalguri.

In the high-voltage BTC election, a total of 6,22,408 voters will decide the fate of 60 candidates in 10 constituencies of the Udalguri district.

The polling will continue in the district till 3.30 pm on Monday.

The polls this time look interesting with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) giving a strong fight with the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) which continued to rule since the formation of the Council.

BPF is facing a huge challenge particularly from the United People’s Party Liberal, headed by Pramod Boro, backed by All Bodo Students’ Union (ABSU), which is making a spirited bid to oust the BPF.

The BJP has also put all its might to oust BPF banking on the anti-incumbency wave.

Other players such as the Congress-AIUDF are trying hard to revive themselves through the polls for next year’s Assembly elections.

The Independent candidates, backed by Gana Suraksha Party (GSP), led by Kokrajhar Lok Sabha MP, are trying to get a toehold in the Udalguri district.

“The BTC is experiencing the maturity of a vibrant democracy. The people have more choices now with the entry of BJP and UPPL,” said political analyst Zakir Hussain.

A retired professor of Tangla College said, “It’s going to be the most unpredictable polls since BTC came into existence. In all likelihood, it will throw up a surprise result. But the BPF still remains the party to beat.

Bhergaon SDO(C) Gakul Ch. Brahma said they made all necessary security arrangements for the BTC polls in a free and fair manner.

Shajid Khan

Shajid Khan is Northeast Now Correspondent in Udalguri. He can be reached at: itsshajidkhan@gmail.com