Huge voter turnout in Assam (Fourth Lead)

Guwahati, April 12: The three Lok Sabha constituencies of Assam – Silchar, Karimganj and Diphu (Autonomous District) – which went to the polls Saturday recorded a high turnout of voters.

Poll officials said they were still compiling reports from different polling stations and expect the overall polling to be more than 75 percent. Till 3 p.m., 62.14 percent voting was recorded.

“We are still collecting the reports. It will take some time to get the final polling percentage,” officials said.

Brisk balloting was recorded in Silchar, Karimganj and Diphu after polling started at 7 a.m.

While the first two hours recorded over 11 percent polling, it picked up soon and 32.23 percent was recorded till 11 a.m.. At 1 p.m., it was 52.52 percent.

State Chief Electoral Officer Vijayendra said polling was peaceful in all the three seats.

“There has been no report of any untoward incident from anywhere so far,” he said.

In a few polling stations, however, technical snags in electronic voting machines were reported.

“There were reports of technical problems and we have replaced the faulty EVMs and polling resumed soon after,” he said, adding that 20 EVMs were replaced.

Of the 2,926,762 eligible voters in the three constituencies, 1,400,594 are women.

Authorities said 60 polling stations were identified as sensitive and 8,880 Assam Police personnel and 204 companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed to ensure smooth voting.

Webcasting will be done in 68 polling stations.

For the second phase of polls, 37 candidates are in the fray. Polling in five constituencies was held April 7, while the third and last phase for the remaining six seats will take place April 24.

Sitting member Kabindra Purkayastha, Congress legislator Sushmita Deb and Kutub Ahmed Mazumder of the All India United Democratic Front (AIDUF) are in the fray in Silchar.

In Karimganj, 15 candidates, including BJP’s Krishna Das, Congress’s Lalit Mohan Suklabaidya and Radheshyam Biswas of the AIUDF are contesting.

Five candidates, including Congress’s sitting member Biren Singh Engti and the BJP’s Joyram Engleng, are fighting it out in Diphu.

The first phase of polls held April 7 in five constituencies – Tezpur, Jorhat, Kaliabor, Dibrugarh and Lakhimpur – recorded 78.72 percent polling.

–Indo-Asian news Service

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IANS