Guwahati: The stage is all set for counting of votes on Friday for assembly elections held in 126 constituencies of Assam even as both the ruling Congress and a divided opposition exuded confidence of forming the next government.
The fate of 986 candidates would be decided on Friday with the vote count beginning at 8 am. An estimated 76.03 percent of Assam's nearly 18 million voters exercised their franchise April 4 and 11.
Although no party has emerged as the front-runner, the Congress is widely seen to have a slight edge as the opposition is fractured.
The three main parties, the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Asom United Democratic Front (AUDF) contested separately.
The Bodoland People's Front (BPF) with 11 legislators in the outgoing assembly has a formal pre-poll alliance with the Congress.
'We are confident of coming back to power for the third straighter term as people voted us for good governance, stability and peace,' Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said.
The opposition too is optimistic that this election will help bring change.
'People of Assam voted for change and we are confident of winning,' Chandra Mohan Patowary, president of Assam's main opposition AGP, said.
'People in Assam want a change as rampant corruption and misrule of the Congress has led to frustration.'
Now all eyes are focused on the magic number of 64 to form the next government.
In the numbers game, the AGP and the BJP could team up, but parties like the AUDF would not support any combination that includes the BJP.
But said AUDF president Badruddin Ajmal: 'The AUDF would emerge as the kingmaker after May 13.'