Assam, TN, Kerala, Puducherry Elections 2021 LIVE Updates: Forty constituencies will go to polls in Assam, 140 in Kerala, 234 in Tamil Nadu and 30 in Puducherry on Tuesday
Assembly Election 2021 LATEST Updates: Forty constituencies will go to polls in Assam, 140 in Kerala, 234 in Tamil Nadu and 30 in Puducherry on Tuesday (6 April).
While Assam will be seeing its third and last phase of polls, the electorate in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Puducherry will be voting in a single-phase election.
In Assam, 337 candidates, including senior minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, his five cabinet colleagues and BJP state unit president Ranjeet Kumar Dass, are in the fray.
A direct contest between nominees of the BJP-led NDA and Congress-headed Grand Alliance is on the cards in 20 constituencies while there is a triangular fight, including friendly contests, in the remaining seats with the Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) being considered as the third force.
The newly floated AJP is contesting in 22 seats while there are 126 Independents in the fray in the final phase of the election in which the BJP-led coalition is seeking to return to power for the second term in a row.
Polling will begin at 7 am and end at 6 pm, with the timing extended by an hour to ensure that COVID protocols are maintained in the constituencies spread across 12 districts.
There are 25 women candidates contesting in this phase.
The fate of 20 sitting MLAs — eight from the Congress, five from the BJP, three each from the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) and the BPF and one from the AGP — will be decided in the final phase.
The first two phases of the election were held on 27 March and 1 April. Votes will be counted on 2 May.
The BJP is contesting in 20 seats while its allies the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) in nine and the United Peoples Party Liberal in eight, including a friendly contest between the saffron party and the UPPL in Bijni.
The Congress has put up 24 candidates and its partners — the AIUDF in 12, the Bodoland Peoples Front (BPF) in eight and CPI(M) in one. The Congress and the AIUDF are engaged in friendly contests in the five constituencies of Jaleswar, Baghbar, Sarukhetri, Chenga and Barkhetri.
The BJP has severed its ties with its earlier ally, the BPF, and entered into an alliance with the UPPL since the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) polls in December but decided to keep the BPF in the government till the Assembly polls.
Sarma, a powerful minister and the convenor of the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), the NDAs version in the region, is locked in a direct contest with Congress candidate Romen Chandra Barthakur in a bid to retain the Jalukbari seat for the fifth consecutive term.
BJP state president Ranjeet Kumar Dass, who earlier represented Sorbhog, is now locked in a triangular contest with the AJP’s working president Pabindra Deka and the Congress’ Santanu Sarma in Patacharkuchi. The constituency was earlier represented by Deka as an AGP member but he resigned from the party to join the AJP.
Industry Minister Chandramohan Patowary is in a triangular contest with the AJPs Shikhar Kumar Sarma and the Congress Ratul Patowary to retain the Dharmapur seat. Guwahati Development Minister Siddhartha Bhattacharya is also locked in a triangular contest to retain Gauhati (East) with the Congress’ Ashima Bardoloi, granddaughter of Assams first chief minister Gopinath Bordoloi, and journalist Adip Kumar Phukan of the AJP.
AGP minister Phanibhushan Choudhury, representing Bongaigaon since 1985, is engaged in a triangular fight with the Congress’ Sankar Prasad Ray and the AJPs Dipu Choudhury to retain the seat for the eighth time in a row.
BPF minister Pramila Rani Brahma is in a direct contest with Lawrence Islary of the UPPL in Kokrajhar (East) in a bid to retain the seat for the seventh consecutive term. Another BPF minister Chandan Brahma is also locked in a direct contest with his UPPL opponent Joyanta Basumatary in the Sidli constituency.
Independent Kokrajhar Lok Sabha MP Naba Kumar Sarania is in a triangular fight with the BPFs Prabeen Baro and UPPLs Bhupen Baro in the Barama seat.
In the Tamulpur constituency, BPF candidate Rangja Khungur Basumatary withdrew from the contest and joined the BJP during campaigning, making the path easier for UPPL candidate Leho Ram Boro.
Among other prominent candidates in the fray are singer Kalpana Patowary (Sarukhetri) of the AGP, journalists Manjit Mahanta and Hridyananda Gogoi, both from Dispur constituency on Congress and NCP tickets respectively, and Adip Phukan from Gauhati (East) on AJP ticket.
Gauhati (West) has the highest number of 15 candidates while Boko (SC) constituency has the lowest – three. Elections are being held amidst tight security as 320 companies of security forces were deployed in the third phase, the highest among all the phases.
Altogether 79,19,641 voters — 40,11,539 men, 39,07,963 women and 139 of the third gender are entitled to exercise their franchise in 11,401 polling stations.
Dispur constituency has the highest of 4,11,636 voters while Dharmapur has the lowest of 1,41,592 voters. There are 316 all-women polling stations and 149 model polling stations.
Altogether 45,604 polling personnel have been deployed for the phase. A section of them has started on Sunday for their polling stations which are remote.
Voters have been urged to wear masks or they will be provided with one at the polling stations if they are unmasked while COVID mitigation facilities like sanitiser, thermal scanners, soap and handwashing facilities will be a part of Assured Minimum Facilities at each polling station.
The third phase of polling will also involve 33 general observers, nine police observers, 17 expenditure observers and 986 micro-observers.
The stage is set for the polling on 6 April in Tamil Nadu, which will decide whether the AIADMK will win a third term or the DMK will return to power after a decade in opposition.
As many as 3,998 candidates, including Chief Minister K Palaniswami, his deputy O Panneerselvam, DMK President MK Stalin, AMMK founder TTV Dhinakaran, actor and Makkal Needhi Maiam founder Kamal Haasan, Naam Tamizhar Katchi leader Seeman and BJP state unit chief L Murugan are in the fray.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Congress president Rahul Gandhi were among those who campaigned for the respective ruling and Opposition alliances.
Over 6.28 crore eligible voters will choose 234 members of the 3,998 contesting the elections.
The DMK has been in the opposition since 2011 when the AIADMK under Jayalalithaa stormed to power and also retained power in the subsequent elections in 2016.
Massive roadshows and long rallies, led by top national and state leaders on Sunday marked the finale of the weeks-long high-octane open campaigning for the 6 April Assembly polls in Kerala.
Despite a ban imposed by the Election Commission on the customary crowded culmination of the open poll campaigning in view of the COVID-19 situation, mass participation of party workers could be seen in the final events in most of the 140 constituencies.
While Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took out a roadshow in northern Kozhikode district and in Nemom in Thiruvananthapuram, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan led a massive one at Dharmadam in Kannur, his home constituency.
Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala also took part in a roadshow at Nedumkandam in the Idukki district.
At Dharmadam, in this Marxist bastion in Kannur, where Vijayan travelled in an open red jeep, waving to his supporters lined up on either side of the road. Mass participation of people carrying red flags, umbrellas and balloons displaying party symbols of a hammer, sickle and star, virtually turned the place into a sea of red.
The usual din and bustle of electioneering were missing in most constituencies in Puducherry, hours before the curtains came down on poll campaign on Sunday.
Puducherry and its outlying regions of Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam go to Assembly polls on 6 April in a single phase. There are 30 Assembly segments including five reserved constituencies.
The election is a keen contest between the Congress-led Secular Democratic alliance and the AINRC-led NDA. The chief contestants are AINRC founder leader N Rangasamy seeking election from Thattanchavady in Puducherry, and the lone seat in Yanam an enclave of Puducherry in Andhra Pradesh.
He has no strong adversary in the hustings in Yanam, poll observers said.
The PCC president A V Subramanian is seeking election from his home town of Karaikal (north).
The AIADMK convenors A Anbalagan and Om Sakthi Segar are testing their luck in Uppalam and Orleanpet segments respectively. Anbalagan has been holding the Uppalam constituency consecutively since 2001.
Om Sakthi Segar who was elected to the Assembly on two occasions in the past from Nellithope has now moved to Orleanth which is new turf for him.
Four former ministers MOHF Shah Jahan, M Kandasamy and R Kamalakannan are contesting from Kamaraj Nagar, Embalam (reserved) and Tirunallar respectively.
The AINRC is seeking election from 16 seats after sharing the remaining 14 seats with BJP (nine) and AIADMK (four). Similarly, the Congress is contesting in 14 seats and supporting an Independent in Yanam while its allies the DMK is seeking election from 13 seats.
VCK and CPI constituents of the alliance led by Congress are wooing voters in Oulgaret and Thattanchavady constituencies respectively.
With inputs from PTI