Big fight after 9 years: All eyes on Friday’s Guwahati civic polls

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All eyes are focused on Friday’s elections to the 60-seat Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC), where polling will be held after a gap of nine years.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has fielded 40 candidates, giving added importance to the GMC elections while the ruling BJP is making all-out efforts to win the polls. After its success in the recent Punjab Assembly elections and buoyed by its first taste of success in two municipal wards in Lakhimpur and Tinsukia districts in last month’s civic polls, the AAP is seeking to expand its base in Assam and in the northeastern region.

The AAP’s Delhi MLA Atishi, who undertook a hectic campaign for the party, and its Assam state coordinator Baren Chowdhury said that the party would form the board by winning a majority of the seats.

Chowdhury said that Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal has been promoting morality in politics and such principles would facilitate the party to expand its base in Assam and other northeastern states. The AAP is trying to present itself as the alternative to the two national parties — the BJP and the Congress — in the GMC elections.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma led the BJP’s election campaign and addressed multiple rallies across the city while Assam Pradesh Congress President Bhupen Borah led the state’s main opposition party on its campaign trail.

The political parties both national and local, have gone all out to woo the people promising a flood-free, crime-free and development-centric city with piped water to all households besides the availability of all other basic civic amenities.

Altogether 197 candidates are in the fray in 57 wards, while BJP candidates in three wards have already been elected unopposed. The BJP had given seven seats to its ally, Asom Gana Parishad. There are 197 candidates contesting in the 57 wards.

Altogether 7,96,829 voters including 3,99,911 females and 27 belonging to the third gender are eligible to exercise their franchise.

Electronic Voting Machines will be used in the politically important elections. The votes will be counted on April 24.

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