78% voting in Assam; 2 killed in blast

78% voting in Assam; 2 killed in blast

78% voting in Assam; 2 killed in blast

Two people were killed in violence as the first phase of Assam election for 65 Assembly segments saw more than 78% polling on Monday.

Two people were killed and at least 13 were injured when a high intensity grenade exploded at Dudhnoi in Goalpara district in lower Assam, 115 km from Guwahati, on Monday evening. 

The injured were rushed to hospital. Polling was peaceful in other places. The state registered 76.03% voting in 2011 Assembly polls. This time, the fever pitched campaign by the BJP and the ruling Congress ensured that the turnout goes up.

“Officially we can say the percentage is 78.02, it might slightly go up since we are awaiting input from some remote areas” Additional Chief Electoral Officer Nitin Khade told reporters at Guwahati. Official sources said the final tally will reach up to 80%.

Massive security reinforcement has been sent to Goalpara, Assam Police sources said. 

Police suspect the Paresh Barua-led Ulfa(I) faction to be behind the attack, since the banned group had earlier threatened to attack BJP candidates and leaders.

At least 93 Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) malfunctioned and were replaced. 

Malfunctioning EVMs
The highest number of malfunctioning EVMs were witnessed in Sivasagar election district, official sources added.

Meanwhile, both the Congress and BJP exuded confidence that the first phase has gone in their favour. Assam has a total of 126 Assembly segments.

“The resilience of our democratic polity will be in evidence once again as people come out to exercise their right to vote,” said Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.

BJP chief ministerial candidate Sarbananda Sonowal thanked the people for coming out in such large numbers to vote.

“People want change and that is why they have come out in huge numbers. The BJP is going to become the single largest party in the state,” Sonowal added.  

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