One of the two parliamentary constituencies in Tripura and five of the 14 in Assam witnessed high voter turnout as the nine-phase election for the 16th Lok Sabha began in the North-Eastern states on Monday.
An Election Commission officer briefed journalists in New Delhi about the first phase. The voter turnout in Assam was 76 per cent. Election officers said people stood the queue to cast their votes. Tripura West constituency recorded 85 per cent turnout and the number may further go up.
Fifty one candidates are in the fray in Assam’s five Lok Sabha constituencies (Dibrugarh, Lakhimpur, Tezpur, Kaliabor and Jorhat), while 13 are trying their luck in Tripura West. Assam’s Chief Electoral Officer Vijayendra said the average polling percentage in the five constituencies had crossed 70 per cent mark at 3:00 pm. Technical snags were detected in over 70 Electronic Voting Machines, which were replaced with new ones. Thirty-six defective EVMs were replaced in Jorhat, 19 in Tezpur, 12 in Kaliabor and 11 in Dibrugarh, while minor glitches in some other machines were repaired by engineers, said official sources.
High turnout in Assam’s five parliamentary constituencies without any major untoward incident marked a new beginning in the State. The poll-date coincided with the “raising day” of the insurgent outfit United Liberation Front of Asom, which came into being on April 7, 1979 to wage an armed rebellion against New Delhi’s “colonial rule” over the State.