70.6 per cent voting recorded in Assam

70.6 per cent voting recorded in Assam

70.6 per cent voting recorded in Assam
An estimated 70.6 per cent of the voters exercised their franchise in the third and final phase of Lok Sabha polls in Assam which witnessed poll violence in Kokrajhar (ST) constituency where one policeman was killed and two others were seriously injured.

The voting percentage was expected to go up as many voters were still inside the polling booths, election office sources said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is a Rajya Sabha MP from the state since 1991, and his wife Gursharan Kaur cast their vote at Dispur Government Higher Secondary School here.

Of the six Lok Sabha seats, Dhubri recorded the highest voter turnout of 75 per cent followed by Gauhati at 73 per cent, Mangaldoi and Nowgong with 71 per cent each, Barpeta at 69 per cent and Kokrajhar 66 per cent, according to the Returning Officers of the respective constituencies.

A policeman was killed and two others were injured when supporters of two candidates clashed over snatching of EVM machines and attacked the police when it intervened to stop them and they also snatched away two INSAS rifles at a poll booth in Harbhanga Gossaigaon L P School in Kokrajhar Parliamentary seat, police said.

While Constable Tinku Ronghang died on the spot, another constable Nileswar Roy and police sectoral officer Yunus Ali were injured and admitted to hospital, they said.

Despite the temperature touching nearly 40 degree Celsius in Guwahati and still higher in other constituencies, voting was brisk with long queues of voters visible in the early hours.

EVM malfunctioning was reported in many polling centres but those were replaced.
First time voters in the 18-21 years age group were enthusiastic as they lined up in large numbers despite the sizzling heat.

Altogether 74 contestants, including nine women, are in the electoral battle for the six seats.

Prominent candidates are AIUDF president and sitting MP Badruddin Ajmal, Assam Transport Minister Chandan Brahma of BPF, sitting BPF MP S K Bwiswmuthiary, former ULFA 'commander' Naba (Hira) Sarania contesting as an Independent, former Meghalaya Governor and NSG chief Ranjit Shekhar Mooshahary of Trinamool Congress. 

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