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Curtains come down on campaigning for second phase

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  10 April 2016 12:00 AM GMT

By Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, April 9: The high-decibel campaign for the second phase of Assam assembly elections ended on Saturday.

The remaining 61 of the 126 Assembly constituencies will go to polls on April 11.

On Saturday, political parties in the State remained busy with last ditch efforts to woo the electorate in every manner.

While the Congress has been highlighting the development it has ushered in during its 15-year rule in the insurgency-ravaged State, the Bharatiya Jata Party (BJP) is playing on the threat of Moula Badruddin Ajmal becoming the State’s deputy chief minister in the event of a Congress-All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) government in the State.

The saffron party, which had made it big in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls in Assam by winning seven of the total 14 Lok Sabha seats, has intensified its attack on the ruling Congress party on the issue of influx from Bangladesh. The BJP has said the party will seal the Indo-Bangladesh border if it comes to power in the State.

The saffron party raised the issue of unemployment of the State and said that in 2001, there were only four lakh unemployed in Assam, which has gone up to 23 lakh now. It said the Congress government has failed to create job opportunities in the State.

While the Congress is going to polls in alliance with a regiol party - United Peoples’ Party (UPP), the BJP has forged an alliance with the Asom Ga Parishad (AGP) and the Bodoland Peoples’ Front (BPF), the ruling party in the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC).

Prime Minister rendra Modi, who led the campaign from the front for the BJP-AGP-BPF alliance in both the phases in Assam, addressed four election rallies yesterday. The issue of infiltration took centre-stage in this phase. There is a predomint minority population in several of the constituencies spread across Lower and Central Assam.

For the Congress, it was party president Sonia Gandhi, vice-president Rahul Gandhi, State unit president Anjan Dutta along with former UPA ministers Ghulam bi Azad, Jairam Ramesh, Salman Khurshid, Sachin Pilot among others who campaigned for its candidates.

The Congress president targeted the BJP over its alleged “commul” politics and accused Modi of “spreading hate”.

Among the prominent candidates in fray in the second phase of polls on Monday are cabinet ministers Rakibul Hussain, Chandan Sarkar and zrul Islam for the Congress, former two-time chief minister and AGP leader Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, AIUDF chief and Dhubri MP Badruddin Ajmal and former Congress minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who revolted against Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and joined BJP last year.

The Congress is contesting in 57 seats, the AIUDF, the major opposition party in the outgoing assembly, in 47 seats, the BJP in 35 while its allies — the Bodo Peoples’ Front (BPF) in 10 and the Asom Ga Parishad (AGP) in 19 seats. The CPM is contesting in nine and the CPI in five seats.

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