The fate of 145 candidates who are contesting the Lok Sabha election from Assam will be decided on Thursday, May 23 when the counting of votes will take place. Assam recorded a total voter turnout of 81.53 per cent. In the wake of the Supreme Court's instruction to the Election Commission (EC), the Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips tally will also be taken into consideration while counting the votes this time around.
According to the apex court's instructions, the VVPAT slips of at least five EVMs per assembly segment in a Lok Sabha constituency will be counted. The tally of votes will take place only after the last round of counting, something which is expected to delay results by at least five hours.
Assam is one of the most populous northeast states and accounts for at least 14 out of 25 Lok Sabha seats. It was once a stronghold of Congress; however, in the 2014 election, the BJP won an unprecedented seven seats here, thus forming the government in the state for the very first time. Congress and All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) had won three seats each and one seat had gone to Others.
According to News18-IPSOS survey, the BJP will dominate the state by winning at least 8-10 seats while Congress will get 2-4 seats, despite massive violence over National Citizenship Registry and anti-incumbency issues. The exit poll added that the AIUDF will bag 2 seats. Republic C-voter predicted seven seats for the BJP and five for Congress and Others getting one seat. Chanakya-News24 Exit Poll said that BJP will get 10 seats and Congress three, leaving one for Others.
This year too, the poll battle is between the BJP and the Congress. Voting in Assam was held under three phases - Tezpur, Kaliabor, Jorhat, Dibrugarh and Lakhimpur voted in the first phase; Karimganj, Silchar, Autonomous District, Mangaldoi and Nowgong voted in second; and the remaining four - Dhubri, Kokrajhar, Barpeta and Gauhati in the third phase.
The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), a strong regional party in the state, announced its sport for BJP in Assam in Lok Sabha election despite differences over Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 and National Register of Citizen. BJP's Citizenship Amendment Bill promises citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, a plan that left the Muslims in the northeastern state infuriated.