Campaign ends for second phase of Lok Sabha polls in Assam


 A high-pitched campaign for five parliamentary constituencies in Assam for the second phase of polls scheduled on April 26 ended on Wednesday.

A total of 61 candidates are in the fray.

Polling will be held for the two constituencies in Barak Valley – Silchar (SC) and Karimganj, one in the hill district – Diphu (ST) and two in the Brahmaputra Valley – Nagaon and Darrang-Udalguri.

Among the national leaders, Union Home Minister Amit Shah campaigned during the second phase by holding a roadshow in Silchar (SC) for the BJP candidate and Assam Minister Parimal Suklabaidya, while Trinamool Congress leader and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also campaigned in the second phase for the party’s Silchar (SC) candidate Radheshyam Biswas.

BJP’s election campaign was spearheaded by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma who daily held at least four rallies in all the constituencies going to the polls while Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who contested from the Dibrugarh constituency in the first phase, campaigned for the BJP candidates in Silchar (SC) and Karimganj in Barak Valley.

The opposition parties, on the other hand, mostly relied on the state leaders in their campaigns.

Lok Sabha Deputy leader of the opposition Gaurav Gogoi, Raijor Dal President Akhil Gogoi, and Assam Jatiya Parishad President Lurinjyoti Gogoi campaigned for the Congress candidates in Barak Valley.

The BJP campaign was focused on highlighting the various development schemes of both the central and state governments and the achievements made by the saffron party during its ten-year and eight-year rule at the centre and state, respectively.

Karimganj constituency has the highest number of 24 candidates, with 19 independents, and Diphu (ST), with only five candidates in the fray.

A triangular contest is on the cards among sitting BJP MP Kripanath Malla, Hafez Rashid Choudhury of Congress and AIUDF’s Sahibul Alam Choudhury in Karimganj.

In Silchar, eight candidates are in the fray, and the contest is likely to be triangular between Assam minister Parimal Suklabaidya of BJP, Surya Kanta Sarkar of Congress and Radheyshyam Biswa of Trinamool Congress.

Five contestants are in the fray in Diphu (ST), and the contest is likely to be between BJP’s Amarsing Tisso and Joyram Engleng of the Congress.

A total of 13 candidates are in the fray in Nagaon, and the contest is set to be triangular between sitting Congress MP Prodyut Bordoloi, BJP’s Suresh Bora and AIUDF’s Aminul Islam.

In Darrang-Udalguri, 11 candidates are contesting, with the contest likely to be directly between sitting BJP MP Dilip Saikia and Congress candidate Madhab Rajbongshi.

In the first phase of LS polls held on April 19, 78.25 per cent of the voters exercised their franchise to decide the fate of 35 candidates for the Kaziranga, Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Sonitpur and Lakhimpur constituencies.

In the outgoing Lok Sabha, BJP held nine seats, Congress three, while the AIUDF and an independent have one each from the state.