269 candidates in fray in first phase of polls in Assam

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Guwahati, Mar 12 (PTI) Altogether 269 candidates are in the fray for the first phase of polls in Assam on March 27 when voting will be held in 47 Assam assembly seats, an official of the state election office said on Friday.

Altogether 295 candidates had filed their nominations for the first phase and during scrutiny the papers of 10 candidates were rejected and 16 withdrew their nominations on the last day of withdrawal on Friday, the official said.

The prominent candidates in fray in the first phase are Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal from Majuli, Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami from Jorhat, AGP ministers Atul Bora from Bokakhat and Keshab Mahanta from Kaliabor, BJP ministers Ranjit Dutta from Behali, Naba Kumar Doley from Jonai and Sanjoy Kishan from Tinsukia and Nazir Hussain from Rupohihat.

The other important candidates whose fates will be decided on that day are Assam Pradesh Congress Committee president Ripun Bora from Gohpur, Congress Legislature Party leader Debabrata Saikia from Nazira, AICC secretary Bhupen Borah from Bihpuria and former ministers Bharat Narah from Naoboicha, Pranatee Phukan from Naharkatiya and Rakibul Hussain from Samaguri.

The other prominent contestants in the first phase are the jailed Raijor Dal president Akhil Gogoi from Sibsagar and Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) President Lurinjyoti Gogoi from Duliajan and Naharkatiya constituencies, along with his party general secretary Jagadish Bhuyan from Sadiya.

Meanwhile, 202 candidates have filed their nominations till Friday for the 39 constituencies which will go to the polls in the second phase on April 1, the official said.

The scrutiny for the second phase will be held on March 15 and the last date for withdrawal is March 17.

The notification for the third and final phase of the elections to 40 constituencies of the Assam assembly which is scheduled on April 6 was issued on Friday.

The last date of filing of nominations for the third phase is March 19, while the dates for scrutiny and withdrawal are March 20 and March 22 respectively.

Facilities of postal ballots have been introduced as an option this time for persons with disabilities, for those above 80 years of age and COVID suspect or affected.