Assam recorded a turnout of more than 70% in the second and final phase of assembly elections on Monday amid sporadic incidents of violence.
The polling percentage was expected to go up as voters, who had already entered the booths were allowed to exercise their franchise even after the end of polling at 3pm, officials said.
“Till 3pm, the polling percentage is 70.35. It is likely to go up after final report assessment,” said Hemanta Narzary, chief electoral officer, Assam.
Voting took place in 64 of 126 assembly seats in this phase. A total of 496 candidates were in the fray on Monday.
“We are confident of coming back to power for the third straight term as people voted us for good governance, stability and peace,” chief minister Tarun Gogoi said.
Opposition Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) was also optimistic. “We are confident of winning the polls,” party president Chandra Mohan Patowary said.
The Barama constituency recorded the highest turnout of 85%, while Barhampur saw the lowest turnout of 57%.
Nalbari district recorded the highest turnout at 78.81%.
Violence was reported at polling booths in Rangiya and Dhubri constituencies.
In Rangiya, agitated voters clashed with security personnel and damaged three vehicles of the Border Security Force. Security forces fired in the air to disperse the crowd. Re-polling was ordered in four polling stations.
Clashes between rival political parties were also reported from Jaleswar constituency in Goalpara district.
The first phase of polling on April 4 saw an estimated 73% polling for 62 assembly seats.
The results will be declared on May 13 along with the states of Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala and Puducherry.
(With agency inputs)
PM stays away from voting
PM Manmohan Singh stayed away from voting in the final phase of Mandate 2011 in Assam. Special category people such as the President and PM are entitled to postal ballot under Clause 20(4) of The Representation of The People Act.
Tenants of former CM Hiteswar Saikia in Nandan Nagar locality, Singh and wife Girsharan Kaur are the 720th and 721st voters in polling centre 156 in Dispur.
Assam Pradesh Congress Committee president Bhubaneswar Kalita attributed Singh’s alleged absenteeism to his busy schedule and national responsibilities. htc/guwahati