Campaigning for the second phase of polling in five parliamentary constituencies of Assam on April 18 ended on Tuesday. Campaigning for Karimganj(SC), Silchar, Autonmous District(ST), Nowgong and Mangaldoi constituencies ended at 4 p.m and polling will be held on Thursday to decide the fate of 50 candidates, including three women.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi and party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi, BJP president Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath along with his Assam counterpart Sarbananda Sonowal, former chief minister Tarun Gogoi were the prominent leaders who campaigned in the state in the second phase.
Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, BJP state president Ranjeet Dass, Assam PCC president Ripun Bora, leader of the opposition in the state assembly Debabrata Saikia too campaigned.
Actor and BJP leader Rupa Ganguly campaigned for the party’s candidates in constituencies which are going to polls on April 18.
The campaign was characterised mostly by public rallies and road shows by prominent national and state leaders. The candidates concentrated mainly on roadside meetings and door to door campaigning.
The ruling BJP in its campaign concentrated on the initiatives taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to develop Assam and the North East, including the inauguration of three bridges in the state. The oppostion Congress and other parties highlighted BJP’s attempts to bring in the Citizenship Amendment Bill and the alleged failure of the Modi government to fulfill the promises made before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
The contest in Karimganj (SC) is a triangular one between sitting AIUDF, Congress and BJP, while in the remaining seats the fight is a direct one between BJP and the Congress.
There are three sitting MPs – two of the Congress and one AIUDF along with three BJP MLAs in the fray.
Karimganj(SC) constituency has the highest number of 14 candidates with sitting AIUDF MP Radheyshyam Biswas pitted against his BJP rival and MLA Kripanath Mallah along with Congress candidate Swarup Das.
In neighbouring Silchar constituency there are 13 candidates with sitting Congress MP and All India Mahila Congress president Sushmita Dev in direct contest with BJP nominee and MLA Rajdeep Roy.
In the Autonomous District (ST) five candidates are in the fray with sitting three-time Congress MP Biren Singh Engti engaged in a direct fight with BJP’s Horen Singh Bey, who is also a former leader of the insurgent outfit United People’s Democratoc Solidarity.
In central Assam’s largest constituency of Nowgong there are seven candidates in the fray with former Congress state minister Pradyut Bordoloi locked in a fight with BJP sitting MLA Rupak Sarmah.
In Mangaldoi Lok Sabha constituency there are 11 candidates in fray with Congress Rajya Sabha MP Bhubaneswar Kalita engaged in a direct contest with his BJP rival Dilip Saikia.
The three women candidates are – Sushmita Dev of Congress, Nazia Yasmin Mazumdar of National Peoples Party in Silchar and Swarnalata Chaliha of the SUCI(C) in Mangaldoi.
An electorate of 69,10,592 – 35,54,460 male, 33,55,95 women and 180 of the third gender, will exercise their franchise in 8992 polling booths.