28.64 pc polling till 11 am in Assam

An Indian polling official marks a voter's finger with ink at a polling station during the third phase of India's general election in Guwahati, the capital city of India’s northeastern state of Assam, on April 23, 2019. (AFP)

An estimated 28.64 per cent of the total electorate of 74,76,062 cast their vote till 11 AM in four Lok Sabha constituencies of Assam on Tuesday amid reports of EVM malfunctioning in some polling stations, an election official said.
Voters formed long queues at the polling booths since early morning in some places, to exercise their franchise in Dhubri, Kokrajhar (ST), Barpeta and Gauhati parliamentary constituencies.
 Women and first-time voters stood outside the booths in large numbers waiting for their turn to vote, he said According to the poll official, Dhubri constituency recorded maximum polling till 11 AM at 31.54 per cent, followed by Gauhati constituency at 29.47 per cent, Kokrajhar (ST) at 27.20 per cent and Barpeta 25.86 at per cent.
Glitches in EVMs were reported at some places in the four Lok Sabha constituencies and the faulty machines were replaced quickly, the official said.

Former Assam Director General of Police Harekrishna Deka alleged that the VVPAT slip that he received after casting his vote at a polling station in Lachit Nagar L P School had the name of a candidate, different from whom he had voted for.
 On Deka's allegation, the election official said the complainant should submit a declaration to this effect to the presiding officer in a specified form and give a test vote to prove the veracity of the declaration.

A total of 74,76,062 electorate - 38,15,335 male, 36,61,570 women and 157 of the third gender - are eligible to cast votes in 9,577 booths to seal the fate of 54 candidates.

Prominent among those in the fray are two sitting MPs AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal in Dhubri and Independent Naba Sarania in Kokrajhar - BPF candidate and state social welfare minister Pramila Rani from Kokrajhar and Congress MLA Abdul Khaleque from Barpeta.

Pramila Rani, Congress candidate Bobbeta Sharma and UPPL candidate and former Rajya Sabha member U G Brahma were among the first ones to cast their vote in the morning.

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur are scheduled to exercise their franchise later in the day at Dispur Higher Secondary Government School in Gauhati constituency.

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