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Guwahati: The ruling BJP-led NDA is heading to retain power in Assam for the second time in a row as the alliance is leading in 68 seats in the 126-member assembly for which three-phase polling ended on April 6.

According to the Election Commission’s initial trends of the results, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party alone is leading in 51 seats while its ally Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) in ten seats and United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) is leading in seven seats. The opposition Congress has established initial leads in 21 seats while its partners Bodoland Peoples Front is leading in two seats and All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) in nine seats. An independent candidate is leading in one seat.

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and AGP chief and minister Atul Bora are leading from Majuli, Jalukbari and Bokakhat seats respectively.

Congress Legislative Party leader and his deputy Debabrata Saikia and Rakibul Hussain both are trailing from Nazira and Samaguri seats respectively.

The counting of votes for 126 Assembly seats in Assam for which polling was held in three phases began on Sunday morning in 34 districts amid tight security and all Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

Assam Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Nitin Khade said counting of votes are being held in 50 Election Districts (34 administrative districts) and there are three tiers of security put in place in and around the counting centres and adjoining areas. “To maintain Covid protocols and guidelines issued by the Election Commission, numbers of counting halls have been increased by 131 per cent — from 143 in 2016 Assembly election to 331 this time,” the CEO said.

In all, 946 candidates including 74 female candidates of different political parties including BJP and the Congress contested the elections.

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