Women, first time voters turnout large numbers in Assam

Women queued up since early morning outside polling booths both in rural and urban areas, election commission sources here said.

75-year old Hironmoyee Devi of Guwahati (East) constituency said she had been voting in all the past elections, even when insurgents issued poll boycott calls.

Women in the four districts under the Bodoland Territorial Council outnumbered men in many polling stations, they said.

"We are aware of our rights and so we have come out to exercise it to elect a candidate of our own choice," 40-year-old Kokrajhar school teacher Rekha Brahma said.

"I am very excited to vote for the first time and I and my friends came out early in the morning to vote," said 18-year-old college student Ankita Bhuyan.

"Decline in insurgency activities in the state along with no boycott threats and campaigns initiated by the Election Commission urging voters to vote have helped in increasing the voter turnout, particularly among women and students," said Babita Saikia, a government employee.

The number of women contestants in the second phase poll was higher than the first phase with 47 candidates in fray.

Altogether 85 women contested in both phases and in the second phase of polls six sitting MLAs and Agriculture Minister Pramila Rani Brahma were renominated by their respective parties.

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