Assam is all set to witness mostly direct or triangular contests between the ruling BJP, its alliance partner the Asom Gana Parishad, opposition Congress and the newly formed Asssam Jatiya Parishad in the first of a three phased assembly elections.
In the fray for the 47 constituencies going to polls on Saturday, are some 264 candidates, including 23 women, amid strict security and COVID protocols.
The stage is all set for the polls, beginning at 7 a.m and ending at 6 p.m, with the timing extended by an hour to ensure that COVID protocols are maintained.
Most voters seen wearing masks
A significant turnout was seen at several booths as the poll began with many choosing to vote early.
Special measures were taken for People with Disabilities (PwD), including the provision of wheelchairs at every polling station and e-rickshaws for their commute.
Most voters were seen wearing masks amid amid a spike in the number of cases. Those arriving without masks are being provided one at the booths.
Polling will continue till 6 p.m.
A total of 300 companies of security forces have been deployed in the first phase, in which people are voting at 11,537 polling stations across 12 districts of Upper Assam and the Northern Bank of Brahmaputra.
Patrolling has been intensified and strict vigil is being kept in all the vulnerable areas, officials said.
The first phase in Assam will decide the electoral fate of several high profile candidates including Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal from Majuli, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee chief Ripun Bora from Gohpur, Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami from Jorhat and Leader of the Opposition in the Assam Assembly, Debabrata Saikia, from Nazira.