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Low key campaign in Upper Asom for fear of EC wrath

Written by: Staff

Moran, Mar 28 (UNI) Assembly elections just a week away, an unusual calm prevails in Upper Asom with none of the hustle-bustle associated with polls in the region dotted with lush green tea estates.

A little prodding of the candidates and local poll officials reveal that the fear of drawing the ire of the Election Commission has made upper Asom a perfect model for peaceful and orderly electioneering.

''We are not putting up posters. There is no wall writing. We have only strung flags on small bamboo poles and festoons,'' Mr Pradan Hati Barua, an Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) party official near Moran, told UNI.

Everywhere in upper Asom, from Titabor to Tinsukia, electioneering has been a low key affair. occasional party meetings and small street-corner gatherings are seen. However, the conventional methods of robust campaigning through loudspeakers, processions and wall writings are missing.

Poll activity in the urban centres too is limited. ''Wherever there is wall writing in public property, we are cleaning it and imposing a fine,'' said Shankar Barua, a local level poll official.

The candidates are also concerned. With the EC whip falling on all offenders, no one wants to take a chance. Thus, even electricity and telephone posts are free from being plastered with posters.

''It has reduced the cost for candidates to a great extent,'' said Mr Prabhat Barua of Jorhat, who used to supply posters.

''I have asked my candidates to follow the EC guidelines in toto,'' Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said. His constituency Titabor had witnessed the least canvassing.

Most candidates are banking on door-to-door contact style of campaigning. There is some heat only in Amguri, the state's most bitterly fought constituency.


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