Over 73% voter turnout in Assam by-elections 

Over 73% voter turnout in Assam by-elections 

There was no law and order issue during the election

Representative image. Credit: iStock Photo

Five Assembly seats in Assam, where by-elections were conducted on Saturday witnessed 73.38% polling. 

The poll percentage was 69.60% polling till 5 pm. 

Two constituencies in Meghalaya (Mawryngkneng and Mawphlang in East Khasi Hills district and Rajabala in West Garo Hills district) saw 80.86% voting while the same in Tuirial constituency in Mizoram was 81.29%, officials said.

Read more: Assam bypolls: 51.65% turnout recorded till 1 pm

Polling in Assam began at 7 am and the turnout reached 51.65% by 1 pm. 

There was no law and order issue during the election.

A total of 31 candidates are in the fray for by-elections in Thowra, Mariani, Bhawanipur, Gossaigaon and Tamulpur constituencies. 

By-elections in Thowra, Mariani and Bhawanipur was necessitated after the Congress and AIUDF MLAs, Sushanta Borgohain, Rupjyoti Kurmi (both Congress) and Phani Talukdar (AIUDF) switched over to BJP. Gossaigaon and Tamulpur seats fell vacant after the sitting MLAs died recently. 

BJP-Congress fight

Congress fielded candidates in all five seats while BJP contested in Thowra, Mariani and Bhawanipur and backed candidates of its ally United People's Party Liberal (UPPL) in Gossaigaon and Tamulpur. BJP fielded Rupjyoti Kurmi and Sushanta Borgohain in Mariani and Thowra, who switched over from Congress and Phani Talukdar in Bhawanipur who quit AIUDF. 

In the Assembly elections held in March-April, Congress had won Thowra and Mariani seats in eastern Assam while its former allies, AIUDF and Bodoland People's Front (BPF) bagged Bhawanipur and Gossaigaon seats respectively. UPPL candidate won in Tamulpur. Bhawanipur, Gossaigaon and Tamulpur are in western Assam. 

BJP and UPPL are confident of bagging all five seats while Congress exuded confidence of retaining Thowra and Mariani and doing better in the other three stating that people were angry over the BJP-led government's failure to contain prices and create jobs.

AIUDF is contesting in Bhawanipur only. Raijor Dal of Akhil Gogoi is fighting in Thowra and Mariani. 

Seven opposition parties including Congress, AIUDF and BPF had formed the "grand alliance" and contested the Assembly elections together. But BJP and its allies, UPPL and Asom Gana Parishad formed the government in May for the second consecutive term. BPF was an ally of BJP in the 2016 elections but the party quit the ruling alliance as BJP joined hands with UPPL in December last year. 

BJP won 59 of 126 Assembly seats while AGP and UPPL bagged nine and five seats respectively. Congress won 29 seats but two MLAs switched over to the ruling party.

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