The Bodoland Territorial Council elections will be held in two phases on December 7 and December 10, the Assam State Election Commission said on Tuesday. The elections were deferred because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a notice, state Election Commissioner Alok Kumar said constituencies under Udalguri and Baksa districts will go to polls on December 7 – the first phase. Elections for the seats in Kokrajhar and Chirang districts will be held on December 10.

Repolling, if any, will be held on December 8 for the first phase, while it will be done on December 11 for the second phase. Votes will be counted on December 12 from 8 am. The polling will commence at 7.30 am and end at 4.30 pm.

The notification said the elections will be held by strictly following the Covid-19 guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India. Seventy-two candidates are in the fray for the elections to the 40-member council.

The Assam Election Commission had on March 20 deferred the polls to the council, scheduled to be held on April 4, in view of the countrywide lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

On April 28, Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi had taken charge of the administration of the council after its five-year term ended. It was the first time the Bodoland Territorial Council was placed under the Governor’s Rule. The ruling Bodoland People’s Front had wanted an extension of the term or holding elections at the earliest.

The Bodoland Territorial Council came into existence in 2003 after the central and state governments signed the second peace accord with Bodo Liberation Tigers, the erstwhile insurgent outfit. The signatories of the Bodo peace agreement had said a provision to absorb them into Bodo politics will bring a transformation of the Bodo Territorial Region as they have struggled for decades and understand the needs of the people.