The voter turnout was nearly 80% in the peaceful first phase polling in Assam for 65 seats which will decide the fate of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi of Congress and Sarbananda Sonowal, BJP’s chief ministerial candidate.
“As per reports received till 5 pm, 78.45% of voting had taken place. However, as a large number of voters were standing in queue at 5 pm, the final polling percentage is likely to by over 80%,” the election department said in a statement.
It said voters participated in an enthusiastic way and have registered a “record turnout”.
Voting for 65 constituencies in first phase of the Assam assembly elections began at 7 am on Monday. An electorate of 95, 11, 732, including 45, 95, 712 women exercised their franchise in 12,190 polling booths to decide the fate of 539 candidates.
In Barak valley, heavy showers in the first two hours dampened the spirits of the voters, but despite that, with the weather situation improving, voters queued outside polling stations.
A total number of 535 companies of security forces have been deployed in the 65 constituencies where poll are being held.
“A total number of 535 companies of both Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) and State Armed Police Force (SAPF) have been deployed for the first phase of the assembly election. All polling stations in rural areas and 82 percent of polling station in urban area has been covered by half section of CAPF”, said Vijendra, chief electoral officer of Assam.
More than 48,000 polling personnel have been deployed in the first phase. Apart from vehicles, 144 boats and 35 bullock carts have been used for transporting electronic voting machines and officials to polling stations in remote and inaccessible areas.
The Congress has filed its candidates in all the 65 constituencies and BJP in 52 constituencies in the first phase. BJP’s ally AGP (Asom Gana Parisad) has 10 candidates and BPF ( Bodoland People Front) in three constituencies.
Heavyweights from the Congress and the BJP are in fray in the first phase. Chief minister Tarun Gogoi is seeking the people’s mandate from his home constituency Titabor in Jorhat district of the state. BJP fielded its Jorhat Lok Sabha MP Kamakhya Prasad Tasa against Gogoi.
BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Sarbananda Sonowal is contesting from Majuli (reserved for ST ). AGP president Atul Bora is seeking people’s mandate from Bokakhat constituency ion Golaghat district of the state.
(with IANS inputs)