Voting begins for Lok Sabha polls in Assam and Tripura

Voting begins for Lok Sabha polls in Assam and Tripura

Voting begins for Lok Sabha polls in Assam and Tripura

Balloting for five Lok Sabha constituencies in Assam and for one of the two Lok Sabha seats in Tripura began Monday, marking the first phase of India's general election, officials said.

An estimated 6.4 million people are eligible to vote in Tezpur, Jorhat, Kaliabor, Dibrugarh and Lakhimpur constituencies and 1.2 million voters are eligible to vote in the Tripura West constituency. In Assam voting will be held at 8,588 centres in the five seats.

A total of 51 candidates are in the fray in the first phase. Assam will elect the remaining nine Lok Sabha members April 12 (three) and 24 (six).

Ten candidates are in the fray in Jorhat, nine in Tezpur, 13 each in Kaliabor and Lakhimpur and six candidates in Dibrugarh.

Among Monday's candidates are lottery baron Mani Kumar Subba (independent), Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi's son Gourav Gogoi, outgoing Congress MP Bijoy Krishna Handique, veteran Communist Drupad Borgohain, BJP state president Sarbananda Sonowal, union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Ranee Narah, Mamud Imdadul Haque Choudhury of AIUDF, union minister Paban Singh Ghatowar, Rameswar Teli of the BJP and Anoop Phukan of the AGP.

Polling for the Tripura East seat will be held April 12.

The 13 candidates in Monday's fray include a woman, Joganati Datta, an independent candidate.

In 2009, Khagen Das of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) defeated Congress's Sudip Roy Barman.

The Left has won from West Tripura 11 times since the first Lok Sabha election of 1952 and the Congress four times.

CPI-M's Sankar Prasad Datta, Congress's Arunoday Saha, BJP state president Sudhindra Chandra Dasgupta, Trinamool Congress state chief Ratan Chakraborty and Aam Aadmi Party's Salil Saha are among the contenders.