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Assam Election: From Jalukbari To Patacharkuchi, Here Are 5 Crucial Seats In Final Phase

40 seats will go to the polls in the third phase of the Assam Assembly election on Tuesday between 7 am and 6 pm. Here are 5 key constituencies in this phase.

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With the formal end of the Assam Assembly election campaign, the polling for the third phase will take place on Tuesday between 7 am and 6 pm. A total of 40 seats spread across 12 districts including three in the Bodoland Territorial Region. These constituencies are Mankachar, Salmara South, Dhubri, Gauripur, Golakganj, Bilasipara West, Bilasipara East, Gossaigaon, Kokrajhar West, Kokrajhar East, Sidli, Bongaigaon, Bijni, Abhayapuri North, Abhayapuri South, Dudhnai, Goalpara East, Goalpara West, Jaleswar, Sorbhog, Bhabanipur, Patacharkuchi, Barpeta, Jania, Baghbar, Sarukhetri, Chenga, Boko, Chaygaon, Palasbari, Jalukbari, Dispur, Gauhati East, Gauhati West, Hajo, Tamulpur, Barkhetry, Dharmapur, Barama and Chapaguri. The counting of votes will take place on May 2. 

Here are 5 key constituencies

Tamulpur: Located in the Baksa district, it falls under the Mangaldoi Lok Sabha segment. In both 2011 and 2016, the Bodoland People's Front candidate Emmanuel Mosahary trounced his Congress opponent in a convincing manner. BPF which is now a part of the Mahajot alliance has fielded Rangja Basumatary this time who is pitted against Leho Ram Boro, a candidate of the United People's Party Liberal- an ally of BJP. However, NDA is likely to have an easy ride as Basumatary joined the saffron party on April 1 and "retired" from the election. As Basumatary cannot technically withdraw from the poll fray, he urged people to vote for Boro. Both the Election Commission and the Supreme Court have refused to accept Mahajot's plea seeking postponement of the polling in Tamulpur. 

Jalukbari: With Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in the poll fray, Jalukbari is one of the most important constituencies going to the polls. In the last election, Sarma registered a mammoth victory over his Congress opponent Niren Deka by a margin of 85,945. On this occasion, Congress has given a ticket to Romen Chandra Borthakur. As BJP has not declared Sarbananda Sonowal as its CM face, there is speculation that the NEDA convenor might tip him to the top post. Incidentally, his campaign has been plagued by some controversies in the last few days.

For instance, the EC barred him from electioneering for the Assam polls for a period of 48 hours-i.e the last two days of the election campaign. Congress had accused him of threatening BPF president Hagrama Mohilary that the NIA will implicate Mohilary and send him to jail. However, in a controversial decision, the poll body reduced the duration of the campaign ban to 24 hours after receiving a belated apology from Sarma. Meanwhile, his "There is no COVID in Assam... there is no need to wear a face mask now in Assam... If there is a need I will inform the people" comment sparked a lot of criticism too.

Bongaigaon: Asom Gana Parishad's Phani Bhusan Choudhury is vying for his 8th consecutive term as an MLA. Representing this seat since 1985, he is currently serving as the Minister of Food & Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Pension & Public Grievances. His key opponent is Congress' Shankar Prasad Ray. Incidentally, Choudhary beat Ray in the 2016 Assembly election by a margin of over 21,000 votes. 

Patacharkuchi: The destination of the Patacharkuchi Vidyapith, one of the oldest Higher Secondary Schools established in 1935, this seat is located on the banks of the Kaldia river. In a surprising move, BJP has fielded its state president Ranjeet Kumar Dass from here instead of Sorbhog which he won in the previous two elections. He faces stiff competition from Assam Jatiya Parishad working president Pabindra Deka and Shantanu Sarma. Contesting on an AGP ticket in the 2016 polls, Deka beat Congress' Sailen Kalita by a margin of 51,976 votes. 

Barama: This is a seat reserved for a Scheduled Tribe candidate. In the last two consecutive polls, Barama has witnessed BPF's Maneswar Brahma defeat AGP's Rekha Rani Dasboro by a comfortable margin. This time, it is a three-cornered fight with the ruling alliance nominating Bhupen Baro of the UPPL, Mahajot reposing their faith in BPF's Prabeen Baro and Independent Lok Sabha MP Naba Kumar Sarania filing his nomination. In the 2019 General Election, Sarania trounced his closest opponent Pramila Rani Brahma of BPF by 37,786 votes. 

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