Campaigning for the third and the final phase of election in the remaining six Lok Sabha seats in Assam concluded at 5 p.m. on Tuesday. Polling in these six seats is scheduled on April 24.
Even as the State continued to reel under intense heat wave, with the mercury touching 40.1 degrees Celsius for the second consecutive day, the candidates and their supporters braved the scorching sun to take part in road shows, bike and bicycle rallies in the six constituencies to make a final appeal to the voters.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has bigger stakes in this phase of polls as it has to defend three seats – Guwahati, Nowgong and Mangaldoi – that it won in 2009. The BJP contested the 2009 Lok Sabha polls in alliance with the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), but this time it is going it alone in the State.
The AGP has fielded candidates in five of the six seats going to polls. In 2009, the BJP won four of the 14 seats in the State, the fourth seat being Silchar. The AGP won one seat, Tezpur, polling for which was held in the first phase of the polls.
The Congress, Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) and All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) won the other three seats of Barpeta, Kokrajhar and Dhubri respectively.
The six Lok Sabha seats -- Guwahati, Nowgong and Mangaldoi, Barpeta, Kokrajhar and Dhubri -- cover 59 of the total 126 Assembly seats in the State. In 2011 Assembly polls, the Congress won 21 of these 59 seats, the BJP won three, the AGP five, the AIUDF 15, the BPF 12, the Trinamool Congress one and Independents won two seats.
Apart from the four major players, other parties in the final phase include Congress ally BPF, the CPI(M), the Trinamool Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which is making its electoral debut. The first phase of polls in five Lok Sabha seats held on April 7 recorded 78.72 per cent turnout while the second phase of poll in three Lok Sabha seats held on April 12 recorded 76.33 per cent turnout.