The fate of Assam Ministers including Piyush Hazarika, Parimalsukla Baidya, Bhabesh Kalita and Deputy Speaker of State Assembly Aminul Haque Laskar will be decided in the second phase of Assembly polls on Thursday.

A total of 345 candidates are in the fray in this phase. As many as 73,44,631 electorates are eligible to vote in second phase elections on April 1. The campaigning for the second phase of elections will end today.

Baidya is contesting from the Dholai seat for the seventh time on a BJP ticket, Hazarika from Jagiroad and Kalita from Rangia seat.

Former Congress minister Gautam Roy is contesting from Katigorah on a BJP ticket, while former Deputy Speaker Dilip Kumar Paul, who resigned from the BJP after he was denied ticket, is contesting as an Independent from Silchar.

Rajya Sabha MP Biswajit Daimary is contesting from Panery and former Asam Sahitya Sabha President Paramananda Rajbongshi is trying his luck from Sipajhar.

Former Assam Minister for Hill Areas Development, Mines and Minerals and Congress leader Sum Ronghang is in the fray from the Diphu seat.

Nearly crucial 15 Assembly seats in the Barak Valley region will go to polls on April 1. In the 2016 polls, BJP had bagged 8 seats six from Cachar district and two from bordering Karimganj district, which shares boundaries with Bangladesh.

The state, in its three-phased polls, is witnessing a direct fight between the BJP-Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and Congress-AIUDF alliance. The BJP is banking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s governance, Central public welfare schemes, and on the image of Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal.

While Congress is heading into the battle against the ruling party bringing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) to the fore.

Congress has stitched a coalition named “Mahajath” with All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), Communist Party of India, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Communist Party of India (Marxist Leninist) Liberation, the Anchalik Gana Marcha (AGM) and the Bodoland Peoples’ Front (BPF) to oust the BJP government from office.

On the other hand, BJP is seeking to return to power with the help of Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL).

Jailed CAA Activist Akhil Gogoi’s Raijor Dal has stitched an alliance with Assam Jatiya Parishad.

This is the first Assembly elections in Assam after the state witnessed widespread protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which aims to grant citizenship to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Christian, Jain, Parsi refugees who came to India from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014, and the publication of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) list.

The Congress leadership has strongly taken up the issue during its campaign. Rahul Gandhi has promised that if Congress comes to power in Assam, then it will do away with the implementation of the CAA.

However, Assam BJP chief Ranjeet Kumar Dass has said that the party will soon implement the CAA 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.

Assam had recorded 79.93 voter turnout in the first phase of elections on March 27.

Polling for the next two phases will be held on April 1 and April 6. The counting of votes will take place on May 2. (ANI)