Polling to begin at 8 am
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, February 8: For major political parties like the Congress, the BJP and the AGP, Monday’s civic elections are going to be a litmus test in view of the next year’s Assembly elections.
Altogether 2,901 candidates are in fray for the municipal board and town committee elections. There are a total of 746 wards in 32 municipal boards and 42 town committees in the State. The number of voters is 14,84,496, which has gone up by 12 per cent, as compared to the civic polls held in 2009.
Polling will begin at 8 am and will end at 4 pm.
Talking to reporters here on Sunday, HN Bora, Commissioner, Assam State Election Commission, said, “All polling officials have reached their polling stations. The DCs, SDOs (Civil) and SPs are looking after the security arrangements in their respective districts.”
“As per requests made by different political parties in Barak Valley for the use of paramilitary forces in the areas where polling will be held, CRPF personnel will be deployed for area domition. The security of polling booths will be in the hands of Assam Police,” Bora added.
He further said that re–poll, if any, will be held on February 11 and the counting will take place the next day.
On Monday’s civic elections, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said, “We are confident that our vote share will increase this time compared to 2009 civic polls. People of the State have witnessed BJP’s U–turn in recent days.”
Political observers believe that Monday’s civic polls will be an important test for APCC president Anjan Dutta, BJP president Siddhartha Bhattacharya and AGP president Atul Bora as all these newly elected presidents are leading their parties in any poll battle for the first time.
In 2009, the Congress had won 425 of the 696 wards. The AGP had bagged 102, while the BJP had won in 66. The CPI(M) had won in two while Independents had bagged 101 wards.