DIBRUGARH: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is facing a tough fight from the Opposition in the upper Assam region where 47 seats will go on polls in the first phase on March 27.
BJP is banking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to pull off a victory in upper Assam where he has held five rallies so far whereas Congress has promised to stop the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and increase wages of tea workers.
Assam BJP president Ranjit Kumar Dass has exuded confidence that his party is going to sweep the elections polls in the state. He has said that the party will soon implement the BJP if it is re-elected to office. He further claimed that the CAA is not an issue in the upcoming Assembly elections in the state as people will vote logically, not emotionally.
Around 260 candidates are in the fray out of which 101 are crorepati candidates and 41 candidates have declared criminal cases against them.
Error-free NRC, CAA, wages to the tea garden workers, flood and soil erosion are the main issues in the election.
Thirty per cent of the voters are connected to the tea garden which is considered as a big vote bank in the state.
Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi has promised them if voted to power then daily wages of tea workers will be increased to Rs 365. In 2016, BJP promised them Rs 351 as daily wages. Currently, tea garden workers are getting Rs 167 per day, though in all the rallies PM Modi promised that after the elected government will take steps to increase wages of tea garden workers.
BJP has promised voters a "infiltrators-free" Assam.
47 seats-- 42 seats from 11 districts of Upper Assam and northern Assam region and five seats from central Assam's Nagaon district-- going to polls in the first phase.
In 2016, the BJP and its ally AGP had swept the elections in the region by winning 35 of these seats. The BJP alone had bagged 27 seats. Congress could manage to win only 9 seats despite securing nearly the same vote percentage.
Till 2014 Lok Sabha, the Upper Assam area was dominated by Congress but the matrics changed after Himanta Biswa Sarma shifted his base to BJP from Congress.
In this election, 37 sitting MLAs are re-contesting including 24 from the BJP, 6 each from Congress and AGP, and one from the AIUDF.
Today the election campaign for the first phase will be over by 5 pm. BJP is facing a tough challenge in Assam this time. As there is a direct contest with the opposition coalition.
In the second phase, 39 constituencies in 13 districts will go to the polls on April 1 while polling on 40 Assembly constituencies in 12 districts will be held on April 6. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.