Guwahati, Dec 31: Polling for the first phase of panchayat poll in Assam has begun this morning, amidst tight security.
A total of 39.43 lakh voters are expected to decide the fate of more than 26,451 candidates, who are in the fray. The first phase of the three phase polls is underway in Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Sivasagar, Golaghat and Jorhat districts. The polling is being held to elect panchayat representatives in 132 Zilla Parishads, 54 Anchalik Parishads and 955 Gaon Panchayats.
Tight security arrangements have been made in all the 6,675 polling booths to ensure free and fair elections.
The army and para-military forces have been deployed to keep eye on activities. Organisations representing six communities in Assam, seeking recognition as Scheduled Tribes, have given a boycott call for the polls as they are observing a 36-hour shutdown from Sunday.
A united forum of six communities of the state are Tai-Ahom, tea tribes, Moran, Mottock, Chutia and Koch-Rajbonshi. The second and third phase of polling will take place on January 4 and January 9 respectively.
Counting of votes will be held on January 28.