GUWAHATI, April 11 - The second and final phase of the Assam Assembly polls held in 61 constituencies recorded an impressive turnout of over 82 per cent, even as the poll process was marred by a few incidents of violence.
The first phase of polls held in 65 constituencies on April 4 witnessed a voter turnout of 82.20 percent.
The turnout figure is likely to increase as updates from many interior areas were being awaited till the time of filing this report.
Polling was by and large peaceful, barring a few isolated incidents of violence. The worst was at Sarbhog, where an elderly person died due to police lathi-charge. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, while condemning the incident, has appealed to all sections of the people to maintain peace and harmony.
�The polls have been by and large peaceful, except one unfortunate incident at Sarbhog where an elderly person died due to CRPF lathi-charge following a scuffle between a section of the crowd and the police personnel. The voter turnout is an impressive 82 per cent and is likely to go up to 85 per cent, as we are still receiving updates from many places,� Nitin Khare, Additional Chief Electoral Officer of Assam, told The Assam Tribune.
As per reports received till 5 pm, the exact voting percentage was 82.02.
The total number of EVMs replaced during the poll process was 191. �The EVMs were replaced in a speedy manner and polling was completed sans interruption. However, due to technical problem, re-poll has been recommended in 24 No. Kachugaon ME School (Right side), under 28-Gossaigaon constituency,� Khare said.
Voting started at 7 am and continued beyond the stipulated 5 pm in many areas. Among those who made long queues were enthusiastic young voters, including first-time voters. Equally impressive was the turnout of the elderly, who braved the hot weather to exercise their right to franchise.
The second phase of polls was held in 22 Election Districts of the State covering 12,699 polling stations.
�The voters have responded enthusiastically to the appeal of the Election Commission of India and have registered a record turnout. The CEO of Assam expressed his gratitude to the voters of the State for their positive response in both the phases of the election,� Khare said.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said in a statement that the large voters� turnout in the Assembly election was a good sign of democracy. He also said that largescale popular participation was indicative of the people�s interest for shaping their own destiny, which was one of the tenets of a healthy democracy.
�The large voters� turnout indicates growing consciousness of the people of the State. I thank the people of Assam for their spontaneous participation in the electoral process,� he said.
Gogoi also attributed the large turnout to �a sound and changed academic atmosphere and development of the education scenario in the State during the last 15 years.� He also acknowledged the media's role in enhancing the voters' turnout.