Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Nearly 60 per cent polling in Assam till 3 pm

PTI | Updated on April 11, 2019

Election officials carry Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) after collecting them from a distribution centre ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, in Assam's Dibrugarh district   -  PTI

Voters, majority being women, queued up early morning even before polling had began.

An estimated 59.5 per cent of the electorate exercised their franchise till 3 pm in five parliamentary constituencies in Assam on Thursday, state Chief Electoral Officer Mukesh Sahu said.

Malfunctioning of EVMs have been reported from some booths in the constituencies and have been replaced but the exact number can be ascertained only after the polling personnel returned with the machines, Sahu told PTI.

Tezpur, Kaliabor, Jorhat, Dibrugarh and Lakhimpur Lok Sabha constituencies have an electorate of 76,03,458, including 38,65,334 male, 37,37,970 female and 154 of the third gender, who will decide the fate of 41 candidates.

Tezpur has recorded the highest of 63.01 percentage followed by Jorhat with 62 per cent and Kaliabor with 60 per cent while Dibrugarh and Lakhimpur recorded 59.9 and 53 per cent respectively.

There was all-round enthusiasm among all sections of voters in all the five constituencies to exercise their franchise since early morning.

First time voters, women, people with disabilities and elderly citizens came out in large numbers to exercise their franchise and long queues were seen before polling booths through the day.

Most of the 225 model polling stations have been decorated with balloons and flowers, while the first voter was offered the traditional Assamese ‘gamusa’

Arrangements for drinking water, baby feeding rooms and resting place for the elderly have also been made.

In many polling stations, ‘Selfie Point’ has been set up where voters, both young and old, were seen taking selfies after exercising their franchise.

Among the prominent candidates to cast their votes in the first half of the day was Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal at 153 Asam Sahitya Sabha in Dibrugarh, former CM Tarun Gogoi, his wife Dolly and son Gaurav, who is the sitting MP and contesting Congress candidate from Kaliabor.

Lakhimpur Congress candidate Anil Borgohain was the first to cast his ballot at an all-woman polling booth, while his BJP rival and sitting MP Pradan Barua exercised his franchise at Dhemaji.

Jorhat BJP candidate and state minister Tapan Gogoi and his Congress rival Sushanta Borgohain, former Union minister and Dibrugarh Congress candidate Paban Singh Ghatowar, Kaliabor AGP-BJP candidate Monimadhab Mahanta accompanied by his brother and state Minister Keshab Mahanta also exercised their franchise in their respective home towns.

In Tezpur both Congress candidate M G V K Bhanu and his BJP rival and state minister Pallab Lochan Das arrived at the famed Mahabhairav Temple at the same time to offer prayers before going to the polling station to exercise their franchise.

The duo greeted each other, shook hands and even posed together for photographers before leaving the temple premises for their respective polling booths.

Polling in Assam will take place in three phases on April 11, 18 and 23.

Published on April 11, 2019

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