BPF’s Candidates sent to Chhattisgarh amid horse-trading speculations

Guwahati : A total of eight candidates of Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) which was a part of Congress led Grand- Alliance were sent to a resort in Chhattisgarh amid the fear of horse-trading. After AIUDF which sent 18 of their candidates to Rajasthan, BPF is second to have moved candidates to a Congress ruled state. “The candidates are brought to Chhattishgarh and are staying at the Mayfair Resort. They will be here till May 2 when the counting of votes take place,” said by a senior Congress leader.

“BJP are the masters of horse-trading. We have seen many such instances in past where they used every possible way to lure the elected representatives. This time we have taken preventive measures to not let the same things happen and I don’t see any harm in this,” said Assam Congress leader and Lok Sabha MP Pradyut Bordoloi.

While BPF spokesperson Khampa Borgoyary said the party candidates are on a vacation. “Our candidates have gone to Chhattishgarh for a vacation after the long Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) polls followed by Assam assembly election.

It is worth mentioning that BPF was part of ruling BJP-led coalition in Assam and had recently tied with Congress. BPF has a strong hold in Bodoland and has ruled BTC for 17 years. The party is expected to see a keen fight with United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL), which is now heading the council with BJP.
“The fact that Congress is moving its allies to states outside Assam shows that they don’t trust on them. Our party is not bothered about it and we are forming the government with majority,” said BJP spokesperson Subhash Dutta.

 

Also Read: MBoSE to hold HSSLC and SSLC examinations amid the COVID-19 surge.

 

82.33 per cent voting recorded in final phase in Assam

Guwahati, Apr 6 An estimated 82.33 per cent of 79.2

lakh electors voted in the third and last phase of Assam Assembly election in 40 constituencies on Tuesday that largely remained peaceful except for sporadic incidents of violence and disturbances reported from some areas.

The percentage of polling, which took place from 7 am to 6 pm,may increase a bit with the arrival of more information, Joint Chief Electoral Officer Rahul Chandra Das said.

"As per the information available, the poll percentage has been estimated at 82.33 per cent," he added.

Polling percentage in the third round is more than the previous two which saw 79.93 and 80.96 per cent voting respectively.

The South Salmara district witnessed highest polling at 89.49 per cent, followed by Dhubri with 89.20 per cent and Bilasipara (87.07 per cent), official data showed.

Lower polling took place at Kamrup Metropolitan, which comprises the Guwahati city, at 74.42 per cent, followed by Bajali with 77.51 per cent and Baksa (78.22 per cent).

Altogether 337 candidates, including 25 women, are contesting in 40 constituencies in the third phase.

Their fate was sealed by 79,19,641 electors, including 40,11,539 males, 39,07,963 females and 139 transgenders, in 11,401 polling stations.

In the three-phased Assam Assembly polls for 126 constituencies, the state witnessed 79.93 per cent polling on 47 seats during the first phase on March 27 and 80.96 per cent on 39 seats during the second phase on April 1.

During the day, a clash between two groups of public broke out "over some issues", forcing the police to resort to mild lathicharge and firing in the air with no one injured, an official said.

The incident took place at the polling station set up at Dighaltari LP School under Golakganj constituency and the situation is under control with voting continuing normally after a brief halt, the official said.

At the Gutipara booth under the Bilasipara West seat, a group of people attacked security personnel over distribution of free masks and pelted stones at the polling station, leading to lathicharge by the police to control the situation.

Voting was interrupted there for about half-an-hour after which it continued as usual, officials said.

At a polling booth under Bongaigaon constituency, police resorted to lathicharge when a huge crowd had arrived.

Another polling station under the same constituency witnessed "some commotion" when the presiding officer went to help a differently abled person in casting his vote.

However, the situation was brought under control immediately after police intervened, an election official said.

Police detained at least two persons from the polling booth at Kamrup Academy Higher Secondary School in Guwahati for allegedly distributing BJP pamphlets carrying minister Siddhartha Bhattacharya's pictures inside the centre.

A total of around 10 persons have been detained from different parts of the constituencies witnessing voting on Tuesday, officials said.

EVM malfunctioning was reported from several polling centres but after the machines were replaced, voting resumed there, an Election official said without sharing the number of units replaced.

A direct contest between nominees of the BJP-led NDA and Congress-headed Grand Alliance is on the cards in 20 constituencies, while there is a triangular fight, including friendly contests, in the remaining seats with the Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) being considered as the third force.

The newly-floated AJP is contesting on 22 seats, while there are 126 independents in the fray in the final phase of polls,in which BJP-led alliance is fighting on 37 seats.

The Grand Alliance has put up 45 candidates, including friendly contests between Congress and AIUDF on five seats.

The fate of 20 sitting MLAs -- eight from the Congress, five from the BJP, three each from the AIUDF and the BPF, and one from the AGP -- will be decided in this round.

BJP ministers Himanta Biswa Sarma,Chandra Mohan Patowary, Siddhartha Bhattacharya and Phani Bhusan Choudhury were in the fray in this phase.

The electoral future of BPF ministers Chandan Brahma and Pramila Rani Brahma along with BJP state chief Ranjeet Kumar Dass were also sealed Tuesday.

Voters wearing masks were seen queuing up outside polling booths with some maintaining distance by standing in marked circles across the 12 districts in lower Assam.

However,most of the voters in rural areas were not observing any COVID-19 protocol and were seen huddling in groups.

The voters who did not have masks were provided with one, besides a disposable plastic gloves before they were allowed to enter the polling booths.

The first voters at the polling centres were greeted with saplings and the senior citizens with 'gamochas' (traditional Assamese scarf).

For the convenience of the senior citizens and physically challenged voters, arrangements for wheelchairs and e- rickshaws were made at many of the booths.

The model polling stations have a children's play zone, seating lounge, selfie zone and muppets. Many of the booths also had seating areas, in rainbow shades, themed on inclusivity and LGBTQ rights.

Many polling centres were decorated with recyclable items, having art installations made with bottles and plastic wrappers among others.

Ethnic fabric and handicraft items were on display in many polling centres, besides mannequins wearing tribal attires put up at the selfie zones.

Assamese festival of Bihu, which is just 10 days away, was also a popular theme in several polling booths.

Defence Minister & Home Minister to visit Assam today

Guwahati: Home Minister Amit Shah Will visit the poll-bound states of Assam and West Bengal on Sunday (March 14).  Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will also address three public meetings in the poll-bound state of Assam.

In Assam, Home Minister  will address public meetings at Margarita at 12:30 pm and at Nazira at 2 pm, after which he will then leave for West Bengal. A BJP press release said Shah will hold a roadshow in Kharagpur at 5:15 pm.

According to the official Twitter handle of Rajnath Singh, the Defence Minister will address a rally in Biswanath at 12:25 pm, then address a public meeting in Gohpur at 01:40 pm following a public meeting in Deragaon at 3:05 pm in Assam today.

Rajnath Singh, along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and BJP chief J P Nadda are among 40 star campaigners of the BJP for Assam Assembly elections.

Polling for the 126-member Assam assembly will be held on March 27, April 1 and April 6. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.

 

 

Assam polls: GHADC polls postponed by Meghalaya Cabinet

The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma on March 4

Guwahati: Ahead of the upcoming assembly elections in Assam, the Meghalaya cabinet decided to postpone the polling date of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) General Elections from April 9 to April 12, 2021.

The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma on March 4, 2021.

Informing about the changes, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma took to Twitter saying, “Due to the 3rd phase of the #AssamAssemblyElections2021 on the 6th of April, 2021 in Lower Assam, Cabinet has decided to postpone the polling date of the GHADC General Elections from the 9th of April to the 12th of April 2021 to ensure smooth execution of the GHADC elections.”

It is to be noted that Assam assembly elections will be held in three phases beginning from March 27 with the final round of voting taking place on April 6.

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Priyanka Gandhi Vadra interacts with tea garden workers with a cup of tea

Guwahati: Congress Party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on the second day of her Assam visit interacted with tea garden workers here in Biswanath.

She was spotted sharing the moment alongside tea garden workers with a cup of traditional Assamese tea.

Sharing their grievances, the tea garden workers sought her support and appealed to protect the tea tribes’ community and their land.

While interacting with the tea tribes community, Vadra raises serious concerns over their daily wage earnings, living standards, health facilities, education etc.

During her interaction, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said, “BJP government has been involved in making fake promises to the people of India. It has been five years now, but, did the BJP led-government kept their promises, or did they provided you the basic amenities after they came to power in Assam? It’s the duty for every single party to fulfill the promises they make during election campaigns and the same goes with the Congress party. The irony is that the ruling government is running only for few selected multinational enterprises, but there has been no development for the common people of the nation during any natural calamities or in the midst of lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

She urged the tea tribes community to vote for the right people in the upcoming assembly polls in Assam.

Earlier on Monday, Assam Congress in a press statement stated that on the second day of her Assam visit Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will be announcing 5 guarantees from the Party, which will occur as assured fulfillments once it comes to Power. The announcement will be based on the issues that came to light and were raised during the “Axom Basaon Ahok  Yatra” and through, the “Axom Basaon Ahok” video contest.

 

Also Read: Congress deadlock to continue: G-23 planning event in Haryana now

Assam Legislative Assembly Election Dates Announced: Polls to be Held in 3 Phases- March 27, April 1 and April 6.

The Election Commission of India has announced the schedule of Assam Legislative Assembly Elections 2021. Sunil Arora, the Chief Election Commissioner of India on Friday held a press conference and announced the dates of Assembly Election of Assam along with Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and West-Bengal. Assam Assembly Election 2021 will be held in three phases. A total of 126 Legislative Assembly seats of Assam will go for election out of which eight seats are reserved for Scheduled Castes and sixteen seats for Scheduled Tribes. The first phase will be held on March 27 covering 47 number of assembly constituencies. The second and the third phase will be held on April 1 and April 6 covering 39 and 40 assembly constituencies respectively. The result will be announced on May 2.

CEC said that there is 34 percent addition of polling stations and the polling time has been increased by an hour keeping in mind COVID-19 safety guidelines. Everyone on election duty for the upcoming polls will be vaccinated against COVID-19 before polling day and candidates can file their nominations online. Adequate deployment of security forces will be ensured and all critical and vulnerable areas have been identified where webcasting arrangements will be installed. CEC has also provided guidelines for campaigning which is restricted to five persons including the candidate for door-to-door campaign whereas five vehicles will be allowed for roadshows. He further announced that the Model Code of Conduct has come into force immediately after the announcement of election dates.

Assam Chief Minister, Sarbananda Sonowal has said that he’s confident about BJP coming back to power  while North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) convener and Health and Education Minister of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma in an interview with India Today said that he was cent percent confident that BJP would come back to power  with two-third of majority but when askedabout becoming the Chief Minister Candidate; he said that the decision would be taken by the party and the Prime Minister and he is just a simple karyakarta of Bharatiya Janata Party. The major opposition led by Congress and AIUDF together is also organising rallies and meetings to come back to power. Sushmita Dev, president of All India Mahila Congress has started bus yatra from her hometown Silchar as a party’s campaign to reach the remotest part of Assam and create awareness against the ruling party BJP’s “divisive”  policies