Over 70% polling was recorded across 21 seats that went to polls in the first phase of Bodoland Territorial Council elections on Monday, NDTV reported. The second phase of the elections will be held on December 10. The results will be announced on December 12.

Since its formation in 2003, the Bodoland Territorial Council had been governed by Hagrama Mohilary, a former rebel who now heads the Bodoland Peoples’ Front, a partner in Assam’s ruling coalition, headed by the Bharatiya Janata Party with Asom Gana Parishad as the third partner.

However, relations between the BJP and Bodoland Peoples’ Front worsened after the four districts under the 40-member council were placed under the Governor’s rule after the polls, scheduled to take place in April, were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, reported the Hindustan Times.

The Bodoland Peoples’ Front has fielded candidates in 37 seats, while the BJP is contesting 26 and supporting Independent candidates in the other seats. The Congress and Badruddin Ajmal-led All India United Democratic Front, which have tied up ahead of the elections, are contesting 20 seats in the council elections. The elections are being seen as a significant affair before the state elections scheduled to be held in less than six months’ time.

In Monday’s elections, 13.59 lakh people were eligible to vote to decide the fate of 130 candidates in 21 constituencies.