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60% electorate cast vote

An estimated 60% of electorate has exercised their franchise as polling ended for the six seats in the first phase of LS polls.
PTI | By Press Trust of India, Guwahati
UPDATED ON APR 24, 2004 09:10 PM IST

An estimated 60 per cent of Assam's electorate on Tuesday exercised their franchise as polling ended for the six constituencies in the first phase of the Lok Sabha polls which was by and large peaceful though minor incidents of disturbances were reported, official sources said.

Unidentified miscreants broke electronic voting machines (EVMs) in polling station number 82 at Kachuabil LP School in Kokrajhar constituency while five other EVMs were broken in four polling stations in Mangaldoi constituency forcing voting to be suspended.

In another incident, villagers of Jortusar under Bogaribari police station in Bilasipara west of Dhubri constituency boycotted the polls as their polling station number 57 A was at a considerable distance from the village.

The villagers alleged they had earlier appealed to the authorities that the polling station was far away and it should be changed to a nearer one but this was not done forcing the entire village to stay away from the polls.

Unidentified miscreants stormed polling station number 36 A at Chakadal under Pathacharkuchi police station in Barpeta constituency and stopped polling for half an hour.

The police rushed to the booth, the miscreants escaped and the situation was brought under control with polling resuming soon after, the sources said.

In another incident, a clash between supporters of Congress and AGP candidates in polling station number 17 at Bengbari High School in Udalguri of Kokrajhar constituency led to stoppage of polling.

Polling had also been stopped in booth number 127 in Kokrajhar constituency following a scuffle between supporters of sitting independent MP Sansuma Khungur Bwismuthiary and another independent Sabdaram Rabha who is supported by the Sanmilita Janagoshtiya Sangram Samiti (SJSS) opposing the creation of the Bodoland Territorial Council.

The polling station which is in Barogan under Basugaon police station was stopped as polling agent Rameshwar Roy locked up the booth and ran away from the scene.

In ten polling stations of Sapotgram town of Dhubri constituency there was no voter turnout following a boycott call given by the Sapotgram Anchalik Nagar Unnyan Samiti in protest against the poor conditions of roads and other civic amenities.

In another polling station under the same constituency, number 47 under Golokgunj police station, no vote was cast as people of the area have boycotted the elections in protest against no development work being taken up by the government.

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