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Mon, 20 May 2019

Northeast Today

Polls for 5 seats in Assam and 1 in Manipur underway today

Polls for 5 seats in Assam and 1 in Manipur underway today
April 18
10:46 2019

NET Bureau

The second phase of voting for five parliamentary seats in Assam and one in Manipur began on Thursday.

Both states are ruled by the BJP in coalition with regional parties.

There are altogether 50 candidates in the Assam seats, the highest number of candidates being 14 in Karimganj and lowest in Autonomous District with five. The others are Mangaldoi, Nowgong and Silchar.

A total 6,910,592 voters, 3,355,592 of them women and 180 third gender, are expected to exercise their franchise across 8,992 polling stations in the five Assam seats.

In Inner Manipur, a total of 928,626 voters, including 480,751 females and 32 third gender will cast their votes across 1,300 polling stations to decide the fate of 11 candidates.

Simultaneously, by-polls are being held in 19 booths of the Outer Manipur seat where election was conducted in the first phase on April 11.

The BJP had won two of these six seats in 2014. The party did not give a ticket to the representatives of these seats – Mangaldoi and Nowgong – in Assam and fielded relatively younger candidates.

Dilip Saikia and Rupak Sharma have come in for veterans Ramen Deka and junior Railway Minister Rajen Gohain respectively.

Their prime rivals are Congress candidates Rajya Sabha member Bhubaneswar Kalita, and former State minister Pradyut Bordoloi.

The BJP hopes to ride its resolve to push the Citizen (Amendment) Bill through to win the remaining two seats in the Bengali-dominated southern Assam’s Barak Valley. While the Congress won the Silchar seat, the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) won the Karimganj seat in 2014.

The Congress has retained MP Sushmita Dev, the president of All India Mahila Congress, for the Silchar seat while the AIUDF has retained Radheyshyam Biswas for Karimganj. Their main rivals are BJP candidates Rajdeep Roy and Kripanath Mallah, currently an MLA.

Apart from the seats in Assam, the BJP has concentrated on the Inner Manipur seat that is currently with the Congress. The Congress replaced MP Thokchom Meinya with former State Chief Secretary Oinam Nabakishore Singh for this seat. His main rival is R.K. Ranjan of the BJP.

Source: The Hindu

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