GUWAHATI, April 11 - The euphoria was palpable in all the nooks and corners of the capital city. The second and final phase of the Assembly election today recorded unprecedented participation of voters, both old and young. All the four constituencies of Kamrup (Metro) district witnessed high turnout of voters who queued up in serpentine lines at their respective polling booths.
Braving the scorching sun, senior citizens waited patiently for their turn to exercise their franchise. They came in large numbers supported by their family members. Walking upright was difficult for many, but the determination to participate in the democratic exercise was strong in them.
Jugal Chandra Borah, a retired employee who came out of polling booth No.220 under the Dispur constituency, said that voting is a responsibility for all citizens. �I always hope that positive changes will take place in the political sphere. It is my duty to exercise this right as a citizen of this country,� said Borah, 76. He came with the help of a family member.
Lily Sarma, who came out of polling booth No.221, also echoed the same sentiments. At 80, she exuded high energy and announced that she will continue to exercise her democratic right till her last breath. �I have always exercised my franchise,� she said. She had come supported by her son.
Citizens like Phanindra Kumar Saikia feel that the senior citizens can set a precedent for the young by showing faith in the democratic ideals. A retired State government employee, Saikia, after coming out of booth No.226 said senior citizens have the ability to take a mature decision and inspire the young generation.
�I have seen the transitions sweeping across the State and it is a good sign that people are becoming aware about their role in the decision making process. There was a time when people had inhibitions about coming out to vote. Now voting is like a big festival and there is high enthusiasm about it. This is really a positive development for the State,� said Saikia.
The second and final phase of the Assembly polls also saw enthusiastic participation of first-time voters.
It needs to be mentioned that the Kamrup (Metro) electoral district has 22,998 first-time voters, while the figure for the entire State is 6.76 lakh.
Shruti Bora, a first-time voter from the Dispur constituency, said it was her duty as a responsible citizen to vote and she discharged it. �It is a duty and responsibility of every eligible citizen of a democratic country to cast vote. Since it is also for the first time I have become eligible, I am eager to participate in the electoral process. More than who I vote for, what matters to me more is that I come out and exercise this right,� she said.
Ilias Husain, another young first-time voter from West Guwahati, who is still in his teens, said that he was quite excited to get the opportunity to exercise his franchise.
�I know it�s a big responsibility to vote and I am happy to have voted for the first time. As a common man, I want our public representatives to deliver on their promises and address the pressing concerns of the people, especially in the areas of infrastructure, health, education, etc,� he said.