Guwahati: Tight security arrangements have been put in place across 12 districts in Assam for the first phase of Assembly elections on Saturday when 47 constituencies will face the ballot.
The first phase will decide the fate of 264 candidates, including Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, state Congress chief Ripun Bora and 23 women candidates.
Tea garden workers, tribal voters and first time electorates will play crucial roles in the balloting to the 126-member Assembly seats,
The hectic campaign for the first of the three phases ended on Thursday in Assam along with West Bengal, which also begin polling on the same day for its eight-phase assembly elections.
In the 2016 elections, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-led alliance secured 35 of the 47 seats while the remaining went to the Congress and other parties.
Assam Chief Electoral Officer Nitin Khade said that all arrangements including the webcasting of the polling have been completed to conduct the free, fair, peaceful and smooth elections on Saturday, when 8,109,815 voters, including 4,032,481 females, will cast their votes across 11,537 polling stations mostly covering the eastern part of the state.
"Huge contingent of central and state forces have been deployed to avoid any disturbances. The security also was further strengthens along inter-state and international borders with Assam," the CEO told the media.
In the first phase of polling, Sonowal, 59, in a multi-cornered contest, is seeking re-election from Majuli, the world's largest river island, besides state Congress President Ripun Bora, 65, fighting from Gohpur; while Asom Gana Parishad chief and Minister Atul Bora, 60, seeks re-election from Bokakhat, where 11 candidates are in the fray.