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Weather improves, voter enthusiasm picks up

An estimated five to 20 per cent voters across the state peacefully participated in the poll process amidst tight security during the first three hours of voting.
PTI | By Press Trust of India, Guwahati
PUBLISHED ON APR 20, 2004 11:51 AM IST

An estimated five to 20 per cent voters across Assam peacefully participated in the election process amidst tight security on Tuesday during the first three hours of polling to decide the fate of 48 contestants in six of the 14 Lok Sabha constituencies.

Low turnout was recorded so far was in some segments of Barpeta and Kokrajahr constituencies, while the highest was in Lakhimpur, election department sources said.

In the prestigious Guwahati seat, where Bhupen Hazarika is the star BJP candidate, six to 15 per cent of the electorate exercised their franchise.

Though polling began at 7 am on a dull note, voter enthusiasm picked up as the sun came out to promise a sunny day after a continuous assault of torrential rains for the last 20 days.
 
Altogether 70,91,939 voters are expected to cast their ballot in Guwahati, Dhubri, Kokrajhar, Barpeta, Magaldoi and Tezpur constituencies in lower Assam in 8311 polling stations during the first phase of hosting.
 
Unprecedented heavy rains till Monday were posing a problem for the polling officials to reach their respective stations and alternative transportations such as elephants, bullock-carts, country boats, horses were resorted to carry polling officials to their booths.

To ward off possible attacks by the banned ULFA, tight security arrangements have been put in place with 136 companies of CRPF, BSF, CISF and other paramilitary forces deployed.

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