Polling in Assam Records 78 Percent; 81 Percent Voter Turnout in Bengal

Central forces will be present in every polling booth and depending on the requirement forces will be increased.

Published: 04th April 2016 07:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th April 2016 12:29 AM   |  A+A-

India Elections Assam 2016 AFP

An Indian polling officer carries an electronic voting machine and election material into a polling booth on the eve of the polling for state assembly elections in Diphu in Karbi Anglong District, some 215kms from Guwahati on April 3, 2016. | AFP

KOLKATA/ GUWAHATI: The first phase of Assembly polls in West Bengal and Assam today passed off peacefully, with a high voter turnout of 81 and 78 per cent respectively in the two states.

Voting in 18 of the 294 Assembly constituencies in West Bengal and 65 of the 126 seats in Assam was "by and large peaceful" with no reports of violence-related death or injury, Deputy Election Commissioner Sandeep Saxena told reporters in Delhi.

Braving the sweltering heat and oppressive humidity, nearly 81 percent of the 40 lakh voters cast their ballot in three Maoist-affected districts of West Bengal on Monday in the first phase of the assembly polls covering 18 constituencies. READ MORE

Over 78 percent of the 95 lakh electorate cast their ballot on Monday in the first round of assembly elections to pick 65 legislators in Assam, officials said Officials said 78.02 percent turnout was recorded till close of polling, but the percentage was likely to increase as reports were still coming in from some remote constituencies. READ MORE

- 06:30 PM: Assam Records Over 60 Percent Polling

Over 60 percent of the 95 lakh electorate cast their ballot till 3.30 p.m. on Monday in the first round of assembly elections to pick 65 legislators in Assam, officials here said.

Additional Chief Electoral Officer Nitin Khade said 61.34 percent polling was recorded till 3.30 p.m.

The 65 constituencies which saw polling on Monday are mainly located in the tea belt, north of the Brahmaputra river and in the Barak Valley. These include three seats reserved for Dalits and 10 for tribals.

"Polling has been peaceful," Khade told IANS. READ MORE

- 6:00 PM: 93 EVMs Malfunction, Replaced in Assam During Phase-1 Polls

At least 93 Electronic Voting Machines malfunctioned and were replaced during the first phase of Assembly polls in 65 constituencies in Assam, where the two-phase election process started today.            

Election Commission officials said the number was likely to go up as the day comes to an end.          

The highest number of malfunctioning EVMs were witnessed in Sivasagar election district.     

"We have changed 12 machines at different places in three constituencies - Sivasagar, Amguri and Thowra. Besides, some other machines developed snag and were corrected by engineers," Sivasagar Returning Officer Virendra Mittal told. READ MORE

- 5:00 PM: 79 Percent Polling Till 5 PM in West Bengal

Registering a heavy turnout, an estimated 79 per cent electorate today cast their votes in the first part of the first phase of assembly polls in 18 West Bengal constituencies till 5 PM, Election Commission sources said. Many of these seats are located in areas which had earlier witnessed Maoist violence.       

Election Commission sources said there was no report of any violence or disturbance from anywhere.            

Polling will be held in another 31 seats in second part of the first phase to be held on April 11. READ MORE

- 04:00 PM: First Time Voters, Women Flock to Poll Booths in Assam

Enthusiastic first time voters and women were seen in large numbers since early this morning in most of the polling stations where first phase of Assam Assembly polls are underway.      

Buoyed by a pleasant weather, young voters and women were seen queueing up before polling station to exercise their franchise to decide the fate of 539 candidates, including 43 women, in 65 of the 126 Assembly constituencies in state.           

"I am very excited to vote for the first time and participate in the democratic process to elect my representative to the state Assembly," said 19-year-old Mayank Bora, an engineering student who reached the polling booth in Jorhat constituency early this morning. READ MORE

- 03:00 PM: Over 63 Percent Polling in Six Hours in First Phase of Bengal Polls

Despite the sweltering heat, brisk polling was recorded with over 63 percent of the electorate exercising their franchise in the first six hours of voting in 18 constituencies in the first phase of the West Bengal assembly elections on Monday.

There will be seven days of polling for 294 assembly seats. The last day of polling is scheduled on May 5.

Polling booths opened amid tight security at 7 a.m. in the 18 constituencies -- nine in Purulia district, three in Bankura district and six in West Midnapore district. READ MORE

- 02:43 PM: Will Carry My Father's Legacy Forward, Says Dalmiya Daughter

Former BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya's daughter Vaishali, who is fighting West Bengal Assembly polls on a Trinamool Congress ticket, says she wants to carry the rich legacy of her father in public life.     

"Many people know me because of my father. And since I belong to the family so they trust me more. I have inherited the legacy of my father and will take it forward in public life," Dalmiya told PTI.  

The 47-year-old, active in social work since an early age, is contesting from Bally constituency in neighbouring Howrah district. READ MORE

- 02:00 PM: 51 Percent Polling Till 2 PM in Assam

An estimated 51 per cent polling was recorded till 2 PM today in 65 constituencies of Assam to decide the fate of 539 contestants during the first phase of Assembly elections.         

Half of the 95,11,732 voters including Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi have cast their votes so far, election office sources said, adding 50.83 per cent polling was recorded across 2190 polling stations in 65 constituencies till 2 PM.     

Besides Tarun Gogoi, the fates of BJP's Chief Ministerial candidate Sarbananda Sonowal and his alliance partner AGP's Working President Atul Bora will be decided in the first phase polls. READ MORE

- 01:13 PM: People Want Change in Assam: Sarbananda Sonowal

BJP's chief ministerial candidate Sarbananda Sonowal today said people were voting in the Assam Assembly elections for a change as they wanted development in the state.         

"People want change (Congress government) for a free, clean and efficient government. They want an administration that protects their culture too", said Sonowal who is contesting from Majuli, Asia's largest fresh water island in the Brahmaputra.       

He also said that the youth of the state were very enthusiastic about a change as even those living outside, including many from abroad, had come to cast their vote here. READ MORE

- 12:00 PM: First 4 Hours Witness Heavy Turnout in West Bengal Polls

The first four hours of polling in 18 constituencies of West Bengal, many of which are in Left-wing extremism-hit areas, witnessed a heavy turnout as more than 45 per cent people cast their votes till 11 AM in the first of the six-phase Assembly elections.          

Election Commission officials said the polling percentage was 45.14 per cent in the three districts of West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura till 11 AM as people queued outside polling booths since morning to exercise their franchise. So far there has been no reports of any violence or disturbance. READ MORE

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- 10:20 AM: 20 Percent Votes Cast in First Couple of Hours in Assam

At least 20 per cent voters in Assam exercised their franchise during the initial hours of polling to decide the fate of 539 contestants in 65 constituencies in the first phase of Assembly election held today amid tight security.      

Voters, particularly women and first timers, were seen queuing at polling booths from 5 AM to participate in the democratic process where the ruling Congress, the BJP-AGP-BPF alliance and the AIUDF are locked in a keen battle.     

Assam Polls AFP.jpg 

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, along with his wife Dolly Gogoi, son and MP Gaurav Gogoi and brother Deep Gogoi, cast his ballot at the polling station in Debicharan Baruah Girls High School in Jorhat.

There were reports of malfunctioning of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in some polling centres due to which voting was affected for some time but they were swifty replaced, election office said. READ MORE

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- 9:55 AM: 23 Percent Turnout in First Two Hours of Bengal Polls

Around 23 percent of polling was reported in the first two hours for the first phase of assembly elections that began at 7.00 a.m. in West Bengal on Monday.

Polling began in 18 constituencies spread across three western districts of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia amid tight security.

The 18 poll-going constituencies include -- nine in Purulia, three in Bankura and six in West Midnapore.

"A little over 23 percent turnout has been recorded in the first two hours. There are no reports of violence," said an election commission official. READ MORE

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Confident Gogoi Dubs BJP Alliance a 'Mess'

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday sounded confident of getting another term in the office, and described the BJP’s tie-up with Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), Bodo People’s Front (BPF) a ‘mess’.

Talking to the reporters after casting his vote, Gogoi said there is no anti-incumbency against his government in the state.

“What kind of government would the BJP form in which there is Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), Bodo People’s Front (BPF)... they won’t form the government. Their alliance is a ‘Maha-khichdi’ (mess), which the people of Assam won’t be able to digest,” he added. READ MORE

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- 7:15 AM: Voting began in the first phase of assembly elections in Assam involving 65 constituencies and West Bengal in 18 constituencies.

In West Bengal as many as 40,09,171 electors including 16 transgender voters will exercise their franchise in the first stage which has 133 candidates in the fray.

In Assam a total of 95,11,732 voters, including 45,95,712 females, will decide the fate of 539 candidates, including Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi in Titabar constituency, and the BJP's chief ministerial candidate Sarbananda Sonowal in Majuli.


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