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First phase of BTC polls passes off peacefully

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Dec 7 - The first phase of the polls to the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) covering the two districts of Udalguri and Baksa passed off peacefully with large voter turnout. According to the State Election Commission website, the tentative percentage of voting at closing time was 75.21. The final percentage which is likely to go up a little bit will be formally declared later.

State Election Commissioner Alok Kumar told The Assam Tribune that polling was orderly, peaceful and uninterrupted, except for a few cases of minor hiccups in which some persons wanted to make their entry without standing in the queue. �This is the most peaceful and orderly polling witnessed in the BTC elections. The voter turnout has been high at 75 per cent and this could go up a little as the final data from different polling stations are being processed,� he said. Kumar added that repoll was unlikely as the poll process had been uninterrupted and no incidents took place. �What we witnessed today is a very positive development. We expect the trend to continue in the second phase as well,� he said.

Kumar said that the COVID-19 protocols were followed during polling and every voter had come wearing masks.

The polling stations were put under tight security cover.

A total of 132 candidates including from BPF, BJP, UPPL, Congress, AIUDF and Independent are in the fray in the first phase, vying for 21 seats in the two districts. BJP is locking horns with its alliance partner BPF while Congress and AIUDF are in alliance in the polls.

The second phase of polling covering 19 seats in Kokrajhar and Chirang districts will be held on December 10. The BTC governs the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) comprising four districts.

Counting of votes will take place on December 12.

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