GUWAHATI, April 4 - The first phase of polls for the Assam Legislative Assembly, covering 65 constituencies, passed off peacefully with initial figures suggesting that the total percentage of polling is likely to cross 80 per cent. As per Election Commission data released at 6.52 pm this evening, polling percentage across the 65 Legislative Assembly Constituencies (LACs) stood at 78.06 per cent at 5 pm, but is likely to increase as reports from remote and far-flung areas keep pouring in.
Chabua LAC had reported the highest turnout of 85.19 per cent at 5 pm, while the lowest turnout of 67 per cent was reported from Sarupathar LAC.
Additional Chief Electoral Officer of Assam, Nitin Khade said that the final polling figures will take some time to come.
�We are still receiving reports. At many places we had to continue the polling process beyond 5 pm due to huge public participation and in many remote places the polling personnel are still on their way back. So it will take some time to tally the exact figures,� he said.
Asked about poll-related violence, he said that while some minor scuffles were reported between supporters of different parties and candidates in a few places, there was no report of any largescale incidents of violence till around 8 pm.
�So far, there have been no reports of any violence which require re-poll. By and large, the entire process has been peaceful,� he added.
Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) had to be replaced at seven places due to malfunctioning, but replacement was carried out immediately and therefore the voting process was not interrupted.
Voting started at 7 am and continued beyond the stipulated time of 5 pm in many places as long queues were witnessed at the polling stations.
Enthusiastic women, youths, first-time voters, senior citizens and people from all sections of the society stood in queue for hours to exercise their franchise to elect the next Government in Dispur.
Many voters, including the specially-abled electorate, were seen waiting outside polling stations even before 7 am.
In most of the constituencies, voter turnout had crossed the 50 per cent mark by 1 pm, as per official data from the Election Commission.
The fate of many prominent candidates, including Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, BJP�s chief ministerial candidate Sarbananda Sonowal, AGP chief Atul Bora, Speaker Pranab Gogoi, ministers Gautam Roy, Ajanta Neog, Pranati Phukan, among others, were sealed in the EVMs.
The 65 LACs which went to the polls today were spread across Upper Assam, North Bank, Hill districts and Barak Valley.
A total of 95,11,732 electors were eligible to exercise their franchise in the first phase. Among them, 49,16,015 were male voters and 45,95,712 were female voters. A total of 539 candidates were in the fray for the 65 LACs. There were 43 female candidates.
There were 187 candidates from recognised political parties, including 52 from BJP, 65 from Congress, nine from NCP, 10 from CPI, 10 from CPM, 11 from AGP, 27 from AIUDF and three from BPF.
In addition, there were 72 contestants from other registered parties and 280 Independents trying their luck in the first phase.
There were 12,190 polling stations, including 78 all-women stations, for the first phase spread across the 65 LACs and 17 revenue districts.