Guwahati, April 11 (IANS): Amid reports of stray violence from different parts of the State, the second phase of polling recorded over 55 percent voting till 2 pm on Monday.
Additional Chief Election Officer Assam Nitin Khade said that 55.46 percent polling was recorded till 2 pm. "We have received reports about some violence in different places. According to preliminary reports, one person died due to lathicharge by the CRPF at a place near Barpeta Road under Sarbhog constituency," he said.
"There is also a report that there is some firing by the security forces at a polling station in Nagarbera constituency," Khade said, adding that they are waiting for a detailed report on the incidents.
He said apart from these incidents, polling was by and large peaceful across the 61 constituencies.
Former Prime Minister and Congress leader Manmohan Singh cast his vote at the Dispur Government High School, located in Dispur area of the city. His wife Gurcharan Kaur, also a voter of Dispur constituency, however, did not come to vote.
"I think people of Assam will reward the Congress party for the good work it has done for the people of Assam in last 15 years," said Singh, while walking up to the waiting mediapersons in the school campus.
Asked about the Bharatiya Janata Party's allegation that he had not done anything for Assam when he was the prime minister, Singh said, "I do not want to counter what the prime minister had said about me. But he (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) also knows that what he has said is not true."
Strict security measures had been put in place at the Dispur Government High school since Monday morning.
Security forces, including the Central Reserve Police Force and Special Protection Group personnel, allowed voters to enter the polling centre only after frisking.
Large numbers of people were seen queuing before the polling stations since around 6 am on Monday to cast their vote.
There are a total of 1,04,35,277 voters eligible to cast their ballot in the second phase. Of these, 50,440,51 voters are women and 22 are third gender. There are 525 candidates in the fray and 48 of them are women. Polling will be held in 12,699 polling stations across the state.
The first phase of polling for 65 constituencies were held in Assam on April 4 which remained peaceful and recorded 83.20 percent polling.
Bengal pollsMeanwhile, amid sweltering heat and allegations of violence, polling for the first phase of the West Bengal Assembly polls in 31 constituencies picked up with over 38 percent turnout recorded in the first four hours on Monday.
Polling began at 7 am in the 31 constituencies, of which 13 are in West Midnapore and nine each in Bankura and Burdwan districts.
Besides allegations of sporadic violence, the scorching heat accounted for a casualty when polling officer Parimal Barui at booth number 295 in Pandavehwar in Burdwan district collapsed and died of suspected sun stroke.
"In the first four hours, 38.65 percent polling was recorded. The turnout in West Midnapore is 48 percent, 32.51 percent in Bankura and 35.45 percent in Burdwan," said an Election Commission (EC) official.
The EC received over 500 complaints from across the three districts including of voter intimidation, violence and Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) malfunctioning.
Several incidents of violence were reported with the Left Front, Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party alleging the polls to be far from being peaceful and fair. Several crude bombs kept in a bag were seized from near a booth in Jamuria in Asansol in Burdwan district. A Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) polling agent had to be hospitalised after being attacked at a polling booth in Chandrakona in West Midnapore.
Voters in 18 constituencies -- six in West Midnapore, nine in Purulia and three in Bankura -- exercised their franchise on the first polling day on April 4. That was part one of the first phase.
Polling for the remaining phases will be held on April 17, 21, 25, 30 and May 5.