Assam is set to hold the second of the three-phased Lok Sabha polls in the backdrop of a bandh in Autonomous District (ST), one of the three constituencies, capping a high-pitched campaign.
Polling will be held in the Autonomous District (ST), comprising Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao districts, Karimganj (SC) and Silchar - the last two being in the Barak valley. The Karbi Peoples' Liberation Tigers has called an indefinite bandh in the Autonomous District since April eight demanding a separate autonomous tribal state under Article 244(A) of the Constitution.
As many as 17 companies of security forces have been deployed in the constituency and helicopter surveillance is being conducted since yesterday to monitor movement of militants. An electorate of 29,26,762, including 15,26,082 males, 14,00,594 and 86 others, will exercise their franchise in 3,698 polling booths in the three constituencies.
The contest in Karimganj (SC) and Silchar is triangular between the Congress, BJP and AIUDF, while in the Autonomous District (ST) it would be direct between the Congress and the BJP.
In Karimganj (SC), the contest is between the two-time sitting Congress MP Lalit Mohan Suklabaidya, BJP's Krishna Das and AIUDF's Radheyshyam Biswas. In Silchar, sitting BJP MP and former Union minister Kabindra Purkayastha is locked in a battle with Congress candidate Sushmita Dev, who is also the Silchar MLA and daughter of former Union Minister Santosh Mohan Dev, and AIUDF's Kutubuddin Ahmed Mazumdar.
In the Autonomous District (ST), the contest is directly between four-time sitting Congress MP Biren Singh Engti and BJP's Joyram Engleng.
Of the 37 candidates in fray in the three seats, three each belong to the Congress and BJP, two each to AGP, AIUDF, AAP, SUCI (Communist) and Samajwadi Party, one each to CPI(M), CPI-ML(L), Trinamool Congress, Shiv Sena and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha. The remaining 19 are independents.
In Karimganj (SC), out of 1504 polling stations, 197 have been identified as highly sensitive and 567 as sensitive while the rest are comparatively safe. In Silchar constituency, out of the 1188 polling stations, 209 are highly sensitive and 611 are comparatively safe while the rest are comparatively safe.