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More than 50 per cent polling in Asom

Written by: Staff

Guwahati, Apr 3 (UNI) Sporadic showers could not deter the electorate to turn out in large numbers as more than 50 per cent polling was recorded till this afternoon in the first phase of Assembly elections to 65 seats in Asom.

The remaining 61 constituencies would go to the polls in the second phase on April 10.

Reports from different parts of the state indicated that upper Asom constituencies reported maximum turnout till now with the urban voters turning up in lesser number in the early hours of polling.

The three districts of Dhemaji, Dibrugarh and Tinsukia recorded the maximum polling till noon. Turnout in urban centers such as Guwahati (Sadar), Jorhat and Silchar had been comparatively low.

The Barak valley also saw a heavy turnout and in some constituencies like Lakhimpur, 60 per cent polling had already been recorded.

Asom Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi exercised his franchise in DCB College polling booth at Jorhat. He was contesting from neighboring Titabor constituency.

Polling so far had been peaceful with no untoward incident reported from any part of the state.

It was festive time in Asom as after 21 years, people of the state were going to the polling booths on a happy note. Since 1985, all elections, Lok Sabha or Assembly polls in the state, were held under the shadow of violence and killings. But things had changed this time.

Security arrangements had been tightened, and with the militant groups staying away from the election process, the polling was expected to be peaceful.

Out of the 9,723 booths in this phase, 1,797 had been identified as very sensitive and 3,227 as sensitive. Altogether 300 additional companies of central forces had been deployed in the constituencies.

As many as 92,07,504 voters would decide the fate of 515 candidates in the 65 Assembly seats in the first phase, 34 are in Upper Asom, 15 in Barak Valley, 10 in Kamrup district, three each in Morigaon district and Hojai subdivision of Nagaon district.

Algapur constituency in southern Asom has the highest number of 25 candidates in the fray, while Titabor in eastern Asom, from where Mr Gogoi was contesting, has the lowest number of four candidates.

Today's poll will decide the fate of several heavyweights, including Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi (Titabor), Speaker Prithvi Majhi (Lahowal), state Congress president Bhubaneswar Kalita (Rangiya), former union minister Bijoya Chakraborty (Dispur) and several sitting MLAs.

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