GUWAHATI, April 4 � The first phase of elections to 62 of 126 constituencies of Assam passed off peacefully with over 67 percent of the voters exercising their franchise. However, the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Assam, Hemanta Narzary said that the voting percentage is likely to go up as reports of polling are still pouring in from the interior places of the State.
Narzary said that the polling went off smoothly and no untoward incident was reported from any part of the state. He said that repolling might be ordered in a few polling stations in Borkhola and South Karimganj constituencies and the final decision in this regard would be taken tomorrow.
Narzary further said that the participation of people in the polls was encouraging and voting took place in 11284 polling stations.
It may be mentioned here that a number of political heavyweights including Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi were in the fray in the first phase of polls.
Special Correspondent from New Delhi adds: Briefing newsmen, deputy Election Commissioner, Aloke Shukla said in New Delhi the polling percentage is likely to go up further after the final figures compiled. The State witnessed 75.72 per cent polling in the last Assembly polls in 2006 and 69 per cent polling in last Parliament election in 2009.
The deputy EC said the final assessment on the first phase of polls would be done only after all the observers in all the districts submits report.
However, based on initial reports, re-polling at two places in Karimganj district where polling was interrupted. At one of the place, the presiding officer did not press the button.
Shukla said no major incidents were reported though couple of incidents of clashes were reported. At Katigora in Barak Valley, there was a report of clash between supporters of two political parties, while at Borkhola, there was a report of polling officials being assaulted.
There were also reports of poll boycott at couple places at Tinkhong and Dima Hasao district over development issues and renaming of the district, respectively, Shukla said.
The EC also received reports from a number of places about EVMs running low on battery. There were problems with EVMs at some places but there was no report of polling being interrupted on that account, Shukla said.
The EC had used 14,553 EVMs in the first phase of polling and deployed 40,837 polling personnel. At least 25 General Observers and 21 Expenditure Observers, besides 55 assistant Expenditure Observers were also put on job, he said.
Polling was also recorded using 1410 video cameras and at 91 places web casting was done, Shukla said.
The Commission also used two helicopters during the polling period.
Our Correspondents report: Silchar: In the first phase of Assembly election, 71.28 percent votes have cast in Cachar district. Initially the casting was very low but it picked up later.
In Katigorah LAC 56 percent vote have caste. In Udharbond 73.12, Lakhipur 72 Borkhola 71.89, Katigorah 70, Silchar 62.21, Dholai, 70.12 Sonai 72.1, total 68.79 votes caste in Cachar district.
Badarpur: Apart from minor incidents of violence polling was peaceful in the Badarpur constituency. According to reports received around 65 per cent of the voters had exercised the franchise.
Dhekiajuli: Around 67 percent of the voters cast their votes in Dhekiajuli constituency, while, 75 percent voting was recorded in Borsola constituency.
Bihpuria: The poll percentage in Bihpuria constituency was around 77 percent and the main contest is between Bhupen Bora of the Congress and Kesharam Bora of the AGP.
Sonari: The polling was peaceful in Sonari constituency and around 71 percent of the voters cast their votes.
Itakhola: Around 70 percent of the voters in Sootea constituency, while, 65 percent exercised their franchise in Rangapara constituency.
Dhemaji: The polling in the Dhemaji constituency passed off peacefully. As per election office repots available here 74.44 per cent voters in the legislative constituency exercised their franchise.
Jonai: About 73 percent of voters exercised their franchise in the 317 polling stations spreading in two blocks under 144 Jonai today. Apart from some minor group clashes reported from some remote polling areas, polling was by and large peaceful in the constituency.
Tezpur: The polling in Sonitpur passed off peacefully in eight legislative constituencies today. The overall percentage of polling in these LAC segments are at Dhekiajuli 67 per cent, Borchala 75 per cent, Tezpur 65 per cent, Rangapara 70 per cent, Sootia 70 per cent, Biswanath Chariali 73 per cent, Bihali 77 per cent and Gohpur 75 per cent. Almost 71.5 per cent of polling was reported in the district.
Initially the turnout of voters was low in all the LAC segments. But gradually the voter�s turnout enhanced.
Howraghat: Despite the threat of militant organization good percentage of polling was seen in Karbi Anglong district. The district recorded 68 per cent of voters turnout. The break up is as Diphu 66 per cent, Howraghat 68 per cent, Bokajan 73 per cent and Baithalangso 67 per cent.