Polling has begun for first phase of assembly elections in 65 constituencies of Assam and 18 constituencies of West Bengal amid tight security.
In Assam, Polling which began at 7 am will continue till 5 PM. A total of 539 candidates are in the fray, including 43 women. More than 95 lakh voters will decide the fate of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and BJP Chief Ministerial candidate Sarbananda Sonowal.
Congress has fielded a total of 65 candidates, BJP has put up 52, and AIUDF 27.
The Congress is seeking a fourth straight term in the state under Mr Gogoi, whereas the BJP is leading an alliance of regional parties AGP and BPF. 
Polling is being conducted in 12,190 polling stations under tight security arrangements.
The run up to the polls has been peaceful and police has expressed belief that there is no specific threat in any constituency.
Around 433 companies of Central Armed Police Forces and 102 companies of State Armed Police Force have been deployed to ensure smooth polling.
134 Model polling stations have been set up with various facilities including medical teams, eateries and free toffees for small children.
For the first time, Electronic Voting Machines have featured a symbol for NOTA.
In West Bengal, voting has

begun for the first phase of assembly elections in 18 constituencies amid tight security. These constituencies include 6 seats in Paschim Medinipur, 9 in Purulia and 3 in Bankura districts.
4,940 polling stations have been set-up for over 40 lakh, 9 thousand voters who will decide the fate of 133 candidates. 
39 candidates are in the fray in Paschim Medinipur, 72 In Purulia and 22 in Bankura. 11 of the candidates are women. 
Voters at most of the booths started queuing up well before the start of voting at 7 AM.
Sources in the State CEOs office said, three observers, 15 Police observers and 676 micro-observers have been deputed to keep a tab on voting. 
As most parts of about 13 of the 18 constituencies are in Left Wing Extremist affected areas, the Election Commission has put up very tight security measures.
Central security force personnel have been deployed on all the polling stations.
In the 13 constituencies, voting will conclude early at 4 pm due to security considerations.
In the remaining five constituencies of Purulia, Manbazar, Kashipur, Para and Raghunathpur, voting will go on as usual till 6pm.
Elections for the 294 seat State Assembly are being conducted in six phases from today to 5th May.

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