Campaigning for the third and final phase of Assam elections ends on Sunday as 40 seats are going to the polls on April 6. This phase will witness a neck-and-neck fight between the UPA and the ruling NDA as of the 40 seats, the BJP and the Congress had won 11 each in 2016.

The 40 seats that are going to polls on Tuesday are spread across 16 election districts are located in Lower Assam and the Bodoland Territorial Region. In the region, the Congress has been able to maintain its tally at 11 in the last three elections.

Last Day of Campaigning

Union Home Minister Amit Shah will address three public rallies in Assam on Sunday. He will begin his campaigning at Sarbhog, following which, he will travel to Bhabanipur and Jalukbari. BJP leader and state minister Himanta Biswa Sarma will resume his election campaign after the Election Commission reduced the ban on him from 48 to 24 hours.

Meanwhile, ahead of the last phase of elections in Assam, the Congress is pulling out all the stops to gain maximum seats as party leaders are pitching in for the campaigning.

The Congress wants to reach all the 40 seats in the last phase and should have at least ten rallies of Rahul Gandhi and other leaders covering four assembly seats in the area. Rahul Gandhi may pitch in on the last day of campaigning on April 4.

The Congress leaders who are in the campaign trail say that the party has a positive feedback in the two phases which went to polls till now. Congress leader Manish Tewari who is campaigning for the party said, “The BJP has snatched away the special status of the state — the reduction in the centre-state sharing schemes from 90:10 during UPA to 60:40 now and progress in the state will remain a far-fetched dream without communal harmony.” He alleged that the BJP is so desperate that it is engineering a defection even during the elections.

In the third phase, the BJP is contesting on lesser number of seats as most of the seats in the third phase are being contested by the BJP allies. The opposition Congress and AIUDF are confident of winning the maximum number of seats in both the second and third phases of the polls.

Key Seats

Jalukbari: Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma is contesting from the Jalukbari seat. He has consistently won the constituency since 2001.

Patacharkuchi: Assam BJP chief Ranjeet Kumar Dass is contesting from this seat. In the last election, he won from the Sorbhog constituency.

Chaygaon: Sitting Congress MLA Rekibuddin Ahmed is re-contesting from Chaygaon. He also won in 2011. He is contesting against the AGP’s Dr Kamala Kanta Kalita, who had won this seat four times in the past.

Sarukhetri: Kalpana Patowary, an Assamese folk singer, is contesting on the AGP’s ticket. She is up against sitting MLAcJakir Hussain Sikdar from the Congress.

Chapaguri: Urkhao Gwra Brahma, a Sahitya Akademy Award winner, is contesting on the UPPL’s ticket. The UPPL is in alliance with the ruling BJP.

In the 2016 assembly elections, the Congress had a lead of more than seven percentage points over the BJP in terms of vote share on 40 seats and its average vote share has remained around 27 per cent since 2006. This time, as many as 29 sitting MLAs, nine of them from the BJP and eight from the Congress, are contesting in the polls.

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