Guwahati, April 6 (IANS) The voting for the third and final phase of Assam Assembly elections began on Tuesday morning as huge security blanket spread in 12 districts while all Covid-19 protocols being maintained, officials said.
The voters comprising men, women and the first time electorates, in large numbers queued up in front of the polling stations well before the voting for 40 of the total of 126 assembly seats opened at 7 a.m.
The polling would continue till 6 p.m. without any break as the Election Commission has extended one hour time in view of the Covid-19 induced situations.
Assam Chief Electoral Officer Nitin Khade said that all necessary steps have been taken to conduct free, fair, peaceful and smooth elections on Tuesday, when 79,19,641 voters including 39,07,963 women electorates are eligible to cast their votes across 9,587 polling stations in 6,107 locations.
Of the 9,587 polling stations, 316 are all women managed polling stations.
Khade told the media that around 32,000 Central Armed Police Forces, along with thousands of state security force personnel, have been deployed to maintain law and order during this phase in which 45,604 polling personnel were engaged to conduct the polls.
Tuesday’s polling would also decide the political fate of BJP’s points man and Finance, Health, Education, PWD Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and ruling party’s state President Ranjeet Kumar Dass.
Sarma, convener of the BJP backed anti-Congress body — North East Democratic Alliance, is contesting from the Jalukbari seat from where he consecutively won since 2001 while Dass is contesting from Patacharkuchi seat. In the last elections in 2016, he was elected to the Assembly from the Sorbhog constituency.
Covid-19 protocols for the voters including social distancing and thermal screening are being maintained.