Guwahati: The first phase of panchayat polls in Assam is currently underway on Wednesday across 16 administrative districts. In the fray are over 43,515 contestants for 15,899 various posts in rural bodies. The polling began at 7 am and will continue till 3 pm.
The 16 administrative districts which will vote in the first phase are Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Tinsukia, Dibrugrah, Sivasagar, Charaideo, Jorhat, Majuli, Golaghat, Nagaon, Biswanath, Sonitpur, Darrang, Morigaon, Kamrup Metro and Kamrup, which together comprise of 27 election districts.
Sources in the Assam State Election Commission (ASEC), 796 contestants are in the fray for 251 zila parishad (district panchayat) member seats, 3,799 for 1,304 anchalik panchayat (intermediate panchayat) member seats, 4,155 for 1,304 gaon panchayat (village panchayat) president posts and 34,765 for 13,040 gaon panchayat member seats. A total of 442 candidates have already been declared winners uncontested in this phase. Of these 442, 250 are from the BJP, 106 from the Congress, 15 from the AGP, three from the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), three from the BPF, besides 65 independents.
The chief contest in the state is between BJP and the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP). The opposition Congress and the AIUDF are also contesting in the polls.
The second phase of Assam Panchayat polls will be held on December 9 and t The counting of votes will take place on December 12.
With agency inputs