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Over 70 pc turnout in final phase polls

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, April 11 � The second and final phase of polls in 64 constituencies of the Assam Legislative Assembly passed off peacefully, barring a few minor incidents and around 70.35 per cent of the voters exercised their franchise. However, the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Assam, H Narzary, said that the polling percentage is likely to go up as reports are still pouring in from the remote areas of the State and the Election Commission would be able to give the final voting percentage only tomorrow.

Narzary revealed that the voting was by and large peaceful and though there were a few incidents of the electronic voting machines developing technical snags, those were replaced immediately and polling was not affected.

The CEO said that repolling would have to be ordered at four polling stations in Rangiya constituency following clashes between voters and security personnel. He said that all these stations are located in the same building. He said that repolling would be ordered at another polling station in Udalguri constituency as some miscreants tried to forcefully enter a polling booth.

Narzary revealed that the voters of two polling stations in Sipajhar constituency boycotted the polls as they are opposed to inclusion of their area in the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC), while the voters of one polling station in Paneri constituency stayed away from exercising their franchise as they were unhappy with the location of the booth.

There were a few complaints by the political parties and those were acted upon immediately, while a few clashes between the workers of political parties took place in different parts of the State but those did not affect polling.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner, Kamrup (Metro), J Balaji said that the polling in the city was peaceful and though a few EVMs developed technical snags, those were replaced immediately.

Balaji revealed that the West Guwahati constituency recorded 70 to 72 per cent polling, while polling was around 69 to 70 per cent in Dispur, around 78 to 80 per cent in Jalukbari and it was only around 60 per cent in East Guwahati constituency.

It may be mentioned here that braving scorching sun, people lined up in front of the polling stations in the city from 7 am to exercise their right to vote. The polling was brisk in the morning hours but it slowed down considerably at around noon only to pick up momentum in the last hour.

Our Special Correspondent adds from New Delhi: Polling was held in 12,589 polling stations in Assam in 7,910 locations and polling was by and large peaceful, said Deputy Election Commissioner Alok Shukla.

Briefing mediapersons, Shukla said that repolling would be held at five polling stations � four in Rangiya and one in Udalguri, while there were complaints against presiding officers of two polling stations � one in South Salmara and one in Hojai.

Shukla revealed that 27 general observers, 21 expenditure observers, 42 assistant expenditure observers and 1,171 micro-level observers were engaged for the second phase of the polls.

The Deputy EC said that a show-cause notice has been issued to Trinamool Congress on the basis of reports that the party in-charge for Assam carried a huge amount of money to the State. On the other hand, the State Election Department has been directed to investigate into the complaint that the BJP had filed against a private TV channel.

Nagaon: The fate of 83 candidates of Nagaon district was sealed in the EVMs after 3 pm today.

The prominent persons in the fray are former Chief Minister PK Mahanta from Samaguri and Barhampur , Minister Rockybul Hussain from Samaguri and Minister Gautam Bora from Batadrava.

About 66.6 pc voters exercised their franchise in the Nagaon district today . Prominent among them were former Chief Minister Mahanta and his wife former Rajya Sabha MP Jayshree Goswami Mahanta , their son Syamanta Kashyap Mahanta at Nagaon Govt Girls� HS School centre in Nagaon LAC, Minister Rockybul Hussain and his wife Nazbeen Hussain at Amani LP School in Samaguri LAC and Minister Gautam Bora at Athgaon Majalia School in Batadrava LAC.

Percentage of polling in different LACs of Nagaon district are as follows � Hojai 76 , Jamunamukh 75, Lumding 72, Barhampur 57, Samaguri 70, Nagaon 69, Raha 70, Rupahihat 62, Batadrava 65, Dhing 60 and Kaliabor 57.

Mangaldai: Apart from the poll boycott by about 2500 voters of Bamunjhar area and arrest of an election agent of the ruling Congress party, the polling in the four LACs Kalaigaon, Sipajhar, Mangaldai SC reserved and Dalgaon under election district Darrang was peaceful.

According to official reports, just after official time for conclusion of voting Dalgaon LAC recorded the highest poll percentage of 75 followed by Kalaigaon with 73 pc, Mangaldai with 72 pc and Sipajhar with the lowest average rate of 66 pc.But the poll per cent is expected to increase when the final reports are received later in the evening as informed by the official source.

Meanwhile, in an incident at 152 No poll station of Bamunpara Boys LP School under Mangaldai LAC, the election agent of the Indian National Congress Kunjalata Hazarika was arrested for allegedly exercising her franchise illegally for one Namita Hazarika.According to police a case has already been registered at Mangaldai PS under Section 171(D) IPC on the basis of an FIR lodged by the presiding officer of the polling station.

On the other hand, about 2500 voters of Bamunjhar area under Sipajhar LAC boycotted election as declared before and members of � Aaboro Suraksha Mancha� resorted to a sit-in demonstration in front of the polling station in protest against the inclusion of the non Bodo-dominated Bamunjhar area under BTC.

Goalpara: Moderate to heavy polling was reported from all the 669 polling stations and the fate of 32 candidates in the fray is now sealed in the EVMs for the four Assembly constituencies of the district.

Though the polling began on a brisk note in the early morning hours but voters turnout was only 47.25 per cent till 1 pm but after a brief lull, it did picking up record another 32 per cent and the break- up polling percentage recorded till 3 p.m.are as follows : 36 (ST)-Dudhnoi LAC- 62 pc , 37-Goalpara-EasL LAC- 68 pc, 38-Goalpara West LAC - 76pc and 39-Jaleswara LAC - 69 pc.

Meanwhile, speaking to this correspondent over telephone, Deputy Commissioner Dr Ashok P Babu who is also the DEO said that the polling percentage is expected to be some where in between 75 pc to 80 pc and expressed happiness over the high percentage of voters turnout and also the way the elections were conducted in the district.

Meanwhile , the Election Officer Saibar Rahman said that only 8 EVMs which were found defective were replaced immediately and polling was not disrupted at any centre as a result of this.

Jalah: Elections to the three constituencies of Chapaguri, Tamulpur and Barama under Baksa district passed off peacefully with no report of any untoward incidents so far.

The three constituencies recorded an overall percentage of over 81 per cent polling with Chapaguri recording 80.38 per cent, Tamulpur 76.46 per cent and Barama 84.42 per cent.

There are 8 zones and 77 sectors with 804 polling stations, out of which 202 are critical, 76 very sensitive, 251 sensitive and 275 comparatively safe.

The total number of voters is 4,20,616. There are 3 candidates in Chapaguri LAC, 6 in Tamulpur and 5 in Barama LAC.

Nalbari: The Nalbari district today recorded a high polling percentage of 78 in all the three constituencies.

The Nalbari Sadar LAC recorded 76 per cent, Barkshetri 79 per cent and Dharmapur recorded 78.56 per cent polling. Voters in thousands came out to cast their votes at the polling centres before start of the polling process and at most of the centres voting was completed in the forenoon itself and as the day progressed, most of the centres wore a deserted look.

AGP president Chandra Mohan Patowary along with his writer wife Rita Chaudhury, cast their votes at Danguapara LP School this morning. Similarly, his rival Congress nominee Nilamani Sen Deka cast his vote at Bhakat Ram LP School under Dharmapur LAC.

On the other hand, former Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Dr Bhumidhar Barman exercised his franchise at Kaplabari LP School and his rival Pulakesh Baruah, former Speaker of Assam Assembly, cast his vote at Kamarkuchi.

Bongaigaon: The Assembly polls were held peacefully in Bongaigaon district, except for some minor incidents.

The total polling percentage was 77 in Bongaigaon LAC while it was 77 per cent in Abhayapuri South LAC and 81 per cent in Abhayapuri North LAC.

Raha: The polling in 82 No Raha constituency passed off peacefully today. According to information received here, around 72 per cent of the voters exercised their franchise at different polling stations of the constituency.

Barama: The fate of five candidates contesting from the Barama LAC of Baksa district was sealed in the EVMs today in the second and final phase of elections in the constituency where the voting percentage was recorded at around 84.42.

No major incident was reported from any polling station. A minor incident was reported in Merkuchi polling station under Barama PS in which an AGP worker was injured by a few miscreants.

Enthusiastic voters queued up since early morning as poll began at 7. The percentage of voting in Barama LAC was reportedly the highest compared to other LACs in Baksa district.

Gauripur: The second phase and final of polling in Dhubri and Bilasipara subdivisions passed off peacefully barring an incident of delay for some time in start of poll due to mechanical defects in EVMs at Chagalia under Golakganj LAC and at one centre in Gauripur LAC.

The overall percentage of polling in five constituencies � two in Bilasipara subdivision and three in Dhubri subdivision � was recorded at 73. The poll percentage in East Bilasipara was 71 while in West Bilasipara, the percentage was 75. In Dhubri subdivision, 23 Dhubri LAC recorded 67 pc, 24 Gauripur 69 pc and 25 Golakganj recorded 70 pc polling. Initially, the turnout of voters was low in rural areas, but it increased in later part of the day and continued upto 4.30 pm.

Morigaon: Overall 71 per cent polling was recorded in the three Assembly constituencies of Morigaon district.

According to District Election Control Room sources, 72 per cent polling was recorded in Jagiroad LAC, 70 per cent in Morigaon LAC and 71 per cent in Lahorighat LAC.

Police and security force personnel lathicharged an irate mob at Karatipam polling station under Jagiroad LAC leading to a halt to polling process upto 11 am. Later, polling started at that centre at around 12 noon.

Kokrajhar: As per the latest information, so far voter turnout in Kokrajhar East LAC was around 73 per cent, Sidli 73 per cent, Gossaigaon 73 per cent and Kokrajhar West 74 per cent.

Meanwhile, special voting was arranged for the NDFB cadres under ceasefire. Out of 227 such NDFB cadres in the designated camp at Kumguri in Kokrajhar district, 148 cast their votes yesterday at their designated camp, informed, the Kokrajhar DC.

Kokrajhar today witnessed a violence-free election after a long time and the district administration has extended thanks to the voters, supporters of political parties and people at large in the area for the peaceful polls.

Pathsala: The polling process in the two legislative Assembly constituencies of Bajali subdivision under Barpeta district concluded peacefully.

As per official reports, up to 3 pm, around election 63 per cent voters out of the 1,24,568 electorate cast their votes in Patacharkuchi constituency, while the voter turnout was about 67 per cent in Bhawanipur constituency.

Polling in both the constituencies is stated to peaceful and incident-free. However, there was a case of minor lathicharge by police due to violation of discipline at Chauliabari polling station of Bhawbanipur constituency. Altogether 708 polling staff at 177 polling stations were assigned duties in Patacharkuchi LAC while in Bhawanipur, the number of polling staff and polling station were 670 and 167 respectively.

Rangiya: In the second phase of polls here in 57 Rangiya LAC, which took place amidst reports of violence today, the total turnout of electorate was 74.8 per cent. The official sources said the figure is nearly 5-6 per cent higher than the last Assembly polls.

The date of repolling at violence-hit 77 No Balak Vidyalaya at Udiana is yet to be declared, sources added.

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