First phase of Lok Sabha elections begins in Assam

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Guwahati, April 7: The first phase of the Lok Sabha elections in five seats in Assam began today on a peaceful note. The Congress, BJP, Trinamool Congress, AIUDF, AGP, AAP, SUCI, CPI(M), AIFB and SP are contesting in the five seats in Tezpur, Koliabor, Jorhat, Dibrugarh and Lakhimpur in the Congress-ruled state.

3.1 million out of 6.4 million voters in Assam are women

Among the 51 candidates, Union ministers Ranee Narah and Paban Singh Ghatowar, former Union minister and sitting MLA Bijoy Krishna Handique, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi's son Gourav Gogoi and Bhupen Kumar Bora are for the Congress. Congress rebel and Independent candidate Moni Kumar Subba is also in the fray. For the BJP, its unit president Sorbananda Sonowal and Kamakhya Prasad Tasa are contesting while AGP's nominees are Arun Kumar Sarma, Pradip Hazarika and Joseph Toppo.

An electorate of 64,41,634, including 31,20,067 women, are expected to exercise their franchise at 8,588 polling stations.

For the first time in the Northeast region and the third time in the country after Kashmir and Bihar, all polling booths have been declared smoking free. Security measures have been tightened for the polls with additional companies of security forces deployed. The next phase of the polls will be held on April 12 for three Lok Sabha seats.

PTI

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