Guwahati: Polling is underway for 80 civic bodies across Assam on Sunday, amid tight security and strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols, an official said.

Voting began at 8 am in 977 wards across 24 districts of the northeastern state and will continue till 4 pm.

“Polling has so far been peaceful,” the State Election Commission official said.

Long queues were seen outside many booths as people turned up early for casting their votes.

Electronic Voting Machines are being used for the first time in the history of civic elections in the state.

The fate of 2,532 candidates will be decided with the ruling BJP having the maximum number of nominees of 825 in the fray.

At least 706 candidates are contesting on Congress tickets, while the Asom Gana Parishad nominated 243, the official said.

“Municipal elections are an important step towards ensuring public participation in governance of urban areas. As polls to urban local bodies are being held across Assam today, I urge everyone to exercise their democratic right for determining their future,” Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Twitter.

The number of eligible voters is 16,73,899, comprising 8,41,534 women and 17 transgenders.

Both ruling and opposition parties in the state had gone all out to woo voters during the high-pitched campaign for elections to the civic bodies.

The counting of votes will take place on March 9.

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