Guwahati, March 2 : The Election Commission on Tuesday issued the notification for the first phase of the elections in 47 Assembly constituencies of Assam, officials said.
Elections for the 126-member Assam Assembly will be held in three phases as per Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora. The counting for all phases will take place on May 2.
Phase one will see polling for 47 constituencies on March 27 while in the second phase polling would be held for 39 seats on April 1 and the remaining 40 constituencies will go to the polls on April 6.
In all 2,32,44,454 voters are eligible to cast their votes in three phases this time while the number of eligible voters was 1,98,66,496 in the last Assembly polls in 2016.
Election officials said that a little over 80 lakh voters can exercise their franchise in the first phase.
According to the officials, with the issuance of the notification, the process of filing of nomination papers has begun and the last date of filing of nominations for the 47 Assembly constituencies is March 9 and the scrutiny of the candidatures would take place next day. The last date for withdrawal is March 12.
The first phase of polling on March 27 would be held in 12 districts mostly covering eastern Assam. Though no parties have announced the names of candidates yet, hectic discussions and parleys are on by all political parties on seat sharing and selection of candidates.
The ruling BJP and the main Opposition Congress-led alliance parties indicated that the candidates for the first phase of polling would be announced by March 5.
The BJP, after the Bodoland Territorial Council polls in December last year, had forged an alliance with the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) after discarding then partner Bodoland People’s Front (BPF).
The BJP has decided to fight the polls in western Assam’s tribal dominated Bodoland area in alliance with new ally UPPL besides Asom Gana Parishad.
The Congress, which was in power in the state for 15 years (2001-2016) until the BJP-led alliance came to power in Assam in 2016, had formed the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ (Grand Alliance) with three Left parties – CPI (M), CPI and CPI (ML) — as well as the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), the Anchalik Gana Morcha and BPF, three regional parties having a political base among the Muslims and indigenous people, respectively.
The BPF on Sunday joined the Congress-led grand alliance a day after snapping its ties with the ruling BJP.
Another regional alliance comprising Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP), Raijor Dal and a few other local parties formed a third front to take on both the BJP and the Congress led alliance.