The electoral fortunes of 51 contestants, including two Union ministers, will be decided in five Lok Sabha seats in Assam tomorrow when an electorate of 64,41,634 will cast their votes amidst tight security.
The Congress, BJP, AIUDF, AGP, Trinamool Congress, AAP, SUCI, CPI-M, AIFB and SP are contesting in five constituencies of Tezpur, Koliabor, Jorhat, Dibrugarh and Lakhimpur in the Congress-ruled state in the first phase of poll.
Union ministers Ranee Narah and Paban Singh Ghatowar, former Union minister and sitting MP Bijoy Krishna Handique, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi's son Gaurav Gogoi and Bhupen Kumar Bora from the Congress are among the 51 candidates.
Congress rebel Moni Kumar Subba, currently hospitalised in Delhi, is also contesting as an Independent candidate.
For BJP its unit president Sorbananda Sonowal and tea workers' leader Kamakhya Prasad Tasa who are in the fray, while Asom Gana Parishad's nominees are Arun Kumar Sarma, Pradip Hazarika and Joseph Toppo.
The electorate, which includes 31,20,067 women, will exercise their franchise in 8,588 polling stations.
Security measures have been tightened for the polls with additional companies of security forces, including CRPF, deployed in the five constituencies, besides two helicopters kept on stand by, official sources said.
In one of the most elaborate exercises in Assam, over 235 companies of security forces from both the state and the Centre have been deployed, they added.
Mulayam defends govt on riots on first visit to Muzaffarnagar Muzaffarnagar, Apr 6 (PTI) On his maiden visit to Muzaffarnagar since the deadly communal violence seven months ago, Mulayam Singh Yadav today defended UP government's handling of the riots and claimed Rs 115-crore assistance was given to victims unlike in Gujarat where "not a single rupee" was spent by Narendra Modi on the 2002 riots affected.
Addressing a rally in the western UP district that will go to polls on April 10, the Samajawadi Party supremo reached out to Muslims, and said his government had initiated a number of schemes for their welfare.
With SP government under attack for handling of communal riots that left over 60 people dead and thousands of others homeless, Mulayam claimed the administration had successfully controlled the violence in two days.
"The riots were unfortunate. We decided to give job to one member of each affected family. We assisted them in housing. SP government provided an assistance of Rs 115 crore to riot victims. Such a big amount was never distributed as relief to riot victims in the country.
"They say Modi, Modi. He took so many lives.... Gujarat government did not give a single rupee to the riot victims.
"UP government has distributed relief amount to riot victims without any discrimination," the former chief minister said.
Referring to the Sachchar committee report, he said that Mulims are economically backward and the state government has planned various welfare schemes for them.
He said that no party would gain majority in the elections. The Third Front will form government and SP will emerge as the largest party.
He claimed that Samajwadi party would win more than 50 per cent of the 80 seats in Utter Pradesh SP leader said that Muslims and farmers have been ignored in the country and they needed a helping hand to improve their condition. He appealed to the people to vote for SP candidate Virender Singh.