Guwahati: The electoral authority has completed all arrangements to conduct the ensuing by-elections in five Assam legislative assembly constituencies in a free, fair, and safe manner. All preparations are afoot for smooth conduct of the by-elections. To keep a strong vigilance on law & order, expenditure, etc., the Election Commission of India has appointed several general, police and expenditure observers.
State chief electoral officer Nitin Khade urges all concerned to cast their vote in the ensuing by-elections. He also added that during the polling exercise, a total of 5,410 polling personnel would be engaged and 1, 869 ballot units, 1, 844 control units and 1, 861 VVPATs would be used. As a major push for conducting free & fair elections, the authority has arranged live monitoring and webcasting.
Webcasting will be done in all the 1,176 polling stations, out of which 285 are in Gossaigaon seat, 213 in Bhawanipur, 322 in Tamulpur, 183 in Mariani and 173 in Thowra constituency. Through webcasting, the election authority will be able to monitor the polling process live on the polling day (30 October 2021). The personnel belonging to central armed police forces have already been deployed at each polling station for security measures and finally to ensure a conducive atmosphere for the voting.
In the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, the authority has taken every possible precautionary measure to ensure that all the polling stations follow the corona related guidelines for the safety of voters and election officials. Each and every polling station will be sanitised one day before the poll and the facility of thermal scanning, hand sanitisers, face masks will be made available there.
Altogether 7, 96,456 general electors will decide the fate of 31 candidates in the fray while electing five of them to the State assembly.
The electorates are ensured minimum facilities like drinking water, waiting shed, toilet, adequate arrangement for lighting, wheelchairs for needy persons, etc., in all polling station areas. Arrangements like transport facility for older people, assistance from volunteers to PwDs, etc., are also being made.
The ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded three former legislators belonging to Indian National Congress (INC) and All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF). One of the saffron allies, the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) has nominated its candidates for two other seats. Representatives from INC, AIUDF, Bodoland People’s Front, Gana Suraksha Party, Communist Party of India, etc will challenge them.
Presently, the saffron party has 59 legislators in the 126-member State assembly and its allies, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) have nine MLAs, and UPPL has five legislators. The opposition Congress has 27 legislators and AIUDF have 15 MLAs. BPF, a former ally of BJP, has 3 legislators and CPI(M) has one member. The assembly also has one independent legislator (who represents Raijor Dol).