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BJP surges in Assam panchayat polls, CM Sarbananda Sonowal thanks voters

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal thanked the people for taking part in the election in large numbers and voting for "development and good governance".

BJP surges in Assam panchayat polls, CM Sarbananda Sonowal thanks voters

Guwahati: The BJP continued its winning streak in Assam panchayat polls, marching ahead of its closest rival Congress and alliance partner Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) which contested independently, as counting of votes continued for the third day on Friday.

Minority dominated All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) came third and AGP fourth in the local election held in two phases on December 5 and 9 to elect 21,990 gaon panchayat members (GPM), 2,199 gaon panchayat presidents (GPP), 2,199 anchalik panchayat presidents (APM) and 420 zila panchayat members (GPM) across the state registering an overall 82 per cent voting.

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal thanked the people for taking part in the election in large numbers and voting for "development and good governance".

Amid reports of clashes between the BJP and Congress on alleged rigging, the counting of paper ballots for the four categories of election was on in the 16 administrative districts where the hustings were held.

As per the results declared so far by the State Election Commission, the Bharatiya Janata Party has won 7,769 GPM seats, Congress 5,896, BJP alliance partner AGP 1,372, AIUDF 755 and others 2,112. For Zila Parishad Members election, BJP secured 223, Congress 139, AGP 18, All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) 24 and others 12 seats.

In Anchalik Panchayat Members (APM) polls, BJP emerged victorious in 910, Congress 656, AGP 122, AIUDF 122 and others 134. The BJP won 940 Gaon Panchayat President (GPP) seats, Congress 662, AGP 114, AIUDF 113 and others 167 seats. Altogether, 78,571 contestants participated in the hustings and 734 were elected uncontested.

The chief minister in a press release on Friday said that the people in the Barak to Brahmaputra valleys, plains and hills of Assam spontaneously took part in the panchayat elections and results showed that the people have reposed faith on good governance of both the central and state governments.

Congratulating the winners, Sonowal urged the victorious candidates to strengthen the Panchayati Raj system by delivering public services in a clean and transparent manner.

The first phase of Panchayat elections was held in 16 administrative districts of Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Tinsukia, Dibrugrah, Sivasagar, Charaideo, Jorhat, Majuli, Golaghat, Nagaon, Biswanath, Sonitpur, Darrang, Morigaon, Kamrup Metro and Kamrup, while the second phase was in 10 districts of Nalbari, Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Dhubri, South Salmara, Goalpara, Cachar, Hailakandi, Karimganj and Hojai.

During both the phases of voting, anomalies regarding names of voters and candidates, symbols along with ballot papers were reported from some constituencies.

Campaigning for the panchayat elections, touted as the fore-runner of the 2019 general elections, had witnessed unprecedented high octave war of words between the ruling alliance partners BJP and regional party AGP hurling accusations and counter accusations to downplay each other. This year's campaigning also witnessed the use of helicopters by BJP ministers as they conducted whirlwind meetings to solicit for votes and addressed public meetings.