The ruling Congress, the BJP-AGP-BPF alliance and the AIUDF are locked in a keen battle as the stage is set for the first phase of Assam assembly polls to be held amidst tight security on Monday for deciding the fate of 539 candidates in 65 of the 126 constituencies.
An electorate of 95,11,732 including 45,95,712 women, will exercise their franchise in 12,190 polling stations with the number of hyper-sensitive and sensitive booths yet to be released by the election office.
Security has been tightened across the state with the Indo-Bangla border along Barak Valley's Karimganj district sealed and more than 40,000 security personnel deployed in the 65 constituencies spread across Upper Assam, hill districts, northern banks and Barak Valley.
More than 48,000 polling personnel have been deployed in the first phase with those in remote areas leaving for their respective polling booths since Friday evening.
The first phase will witness mostly direct contest between the ruling Congress and the BJP-AGP-BPF alliance though the AIUDF has put up candidates in 27 constituencies where the fight is expected to be triangular.
The Congress is contesting in all the 65 constituencies in the first phase while BJP is contesting in 54 and its alliance partners—AGP in 11 and BPF in three, the AIUDF in 27, the CPI and CPM in ten each with CPI(ML)(L) in six along with 60 others of unrecognised parties and 13 independents.
Among the 539 candidates in the fray, 496 are males and 43 females in 45 constituencies of the Brahmaputra Valley, five in the two hill districts of Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao and 15 in the Barak Valley.
The prominent Congress candidates in the fray are Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi from Titabor, Speaker of the outgoing assembly Pranab Gogoi from Sibsagar, former Union Minister and prominent tea tribe leader Paban Singh Ghatowar and Assam Ministers Gautam Roy, Sarat Barkotoky, Ajanta Neog, Khorsingh Engti, Siddeque Ahmed, Bismita Gogoi, Sumitra Patir and Girindra Malik among others.