The first phase of elections to the 40-member Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) was held on December 7. The balloting was incident-free with over 75 per cent of the 13,64,018 voters casting their votes, officials said.
Assam State Election Commissioner (SEC) Alok Kumar said that the polling was held following the COVID-19 protocols and maintaining social distancing. He told the media that the elections were incident free and there was no report of disruption of voting in any polling booth.
Monday’s first phase of elections with a total of 13,64,018 electors would decide the fate of 130 candidates for the 21 constituencies in Bodoland Territorial Council, spread across Udalguri and Baksa districts in western Assam bordering West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutan.
The second phase of polling for 19 constituencies would take place on December 10 in Kokrajhar and Chirang districts. There are around 111 candidates in the fray on Thursday’s electoral battle.
Kumar said that the counting of votes would take place on December 12.
The politically important Bodoland Territorial Council polling was originally scheduled on April 4 but was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
BJP, BPF fighting polls separately in Bodoland Territorial Council
The ruling BJP and its junior ally in in Assam — Bodoland Peoples Front (BPF) — are fighting the polls separately.
The elections in the tribal autonomous body are witnessing multi cornered contest as the opposition Congress, All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) and Gana Suraksha Party (GSP) are also contesting the polls.
The BJP-led North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) Convenor and Assam’s Finance and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma carried out a hectic campaign in the electioneering while Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal had also addressed several election rallies.
The tribal based party BPF has been ruling BTC since 2005.