Guwahati: Assam government has declared the polling days for State legislative assembly elections 2021 as paid holidays to encourage the employees to cast their votes. Employees of all factories, plantations, shops & commercial establishments, public entertainment or amusements establishment, firms and other workshops, banking institutions etc will enjoy paid holidays on 27 March, 1 and 6 April accordingly. By now the poll-bound State witnesses massive seizures of around rupees 18 crore worth of items ahead of the electoral exercise. Various poll-monitoring agencies have also arrested over 110 people allegedly engaged in illegal activities during the last two weeks. Soon after the polls were notified on 26 February, all election districts were put under surveillance. Necessary precautionary measures due to the Covid-19 pandemic have been adopted by the State electoral department. The safety of voters has been prioritized across the State. Additional polling stations are planned, where needed, to accommodate a maximum of 1000 voters in one polling booth. Meanwhile, the scrutiny of nomination papers, submitted by over 200 candidates for the first phase of State polls, has already begun. A number of political heavyweights of eastern Assam are in the fray. State chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal submitted his nomination paper at Majuli on the last day of filing nominations yesterday. The senior BJP leader is seeking re-election from the Brahmaputra river island constituency. Union minister Jitendra Singh, State BJP president Ranjeet Kr Dass, BJP’s ally Asom Gana Parishad president Atul Bora, State minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, BTC chief Pramod Boro and many others accompanied Sonowal in the process. State assembly speaker and BJP leader Hitendra Nath Goswami, ministers Ranjit Dutta and Naba Kumar Doley, saffron legislators Angurlata Deka, Mrinal Saikia, Ashok Singhal, Padma Hazarika, etc also filed nominations in their respective constituencies. Assam Congress president Ripun Bora, Congress leaders Rakibul Hussain, Bharat Narah, Rupjyoti Kurmi, AGP leader Keshab Mahanta, Asom Jatiya Parishad chief Lurinjyoti Gogoi, Raijor Dal leader Akhil Gogoi, etc submitted their nomination papers.
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