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Assam polls: First phase held in 47 of the state’s 126 seats records 76.89 percent voter turnout 

The 2016 elections were held in two phases. Sixty-five constituencies had gone to first phase polls, which recorded a voters’ turnout of 82.41%. The overall voting percentage that election was 84.72.

Published: 27th March 2021 09:37 PM  |   Last Updated: 27th March 2021 09:37 PM   |  A+A-

A poll official marks the finger of a voter with indelible ink as she arrives to cast her vote during the first phase of polling for Assam Assembly elections, at Koliabor in Nagaon district

A poll official marks the finger of a voter with indelible ink as she arrives to cast her vote during the first phase of polling for Assam Assembly elections, at Koliabor in Nagaon district. (Photo |

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: The first of three-phase Assam polls, held in 47 of the state’s 126 seats, recorded a voting percentage of 76.89 on Saturday.

Election officials said it might go up further after “final compilation”.

The voting, held across Upper Assam and parts of Northern and Central Assam, passed off peacefully. An election official died within hours after his health condition had deteriorated at a polling station in the Sonari constituency of Upper Assam.

The 2016 elections were held in two phases. Sixty-five constituencies had gone to first phase polls, which recorded a voters’ turnout of 82.41%. The overall voting percentage that election was 84.72.

The stakes were high for the BJP and its ally Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) in the first phase. Thirty-five of the 47 seats were bagged by the BJP (27) and AGP (8) in the last elections. The Congress had won nine, All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) two and there was an Independent victor.

The success of the Congress-led and ten-party grand alliance of Opposition will depend much on how the BJP and the AGP fare in the first phase polls. Apart from the AGP, there are two other regional forces – Asom Jatiya Parishad (AJP) and Raijor Dal – this election. Both were floated last year against the backdrop of the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA). Upper Assam had led the protests.

Political scientists attributed Saturday’s large voters’ turnout to “competitiveness in politics”.

“There is disillusionment but the BJP holds control over the tea and scheduled tribe voters. At the same time, there are strong forces of resistance against the BJP. The Congress formed ‘Mahajot’. There are also two new regional parties. So, politics this time around became very competitive. Last time, it was the aspirational votes, resulting in large voters’ turnout. This time, this is due to the competitiveness of politics,” political analyst Akhil Ranjan Dutta of the Gauhati University told this newspaper.

He said while the BJP-led alliance was trying hard to retain power, the Opposition parties were working hard to oust the BJP from power.

“As far as the AJP and the Raijor Dal are concerned, the youth are playing a very pivotal role in terms of campaigning through the social media. Had there been no AJP or Raijor Dal, the voting percentage, probably, would have been less,” Dutta felt.

The BJP and Congress claimed people had come out in large numbers to vote in their favour. The BJP said people wanted its development initiatives to continue. The Congress claimed the large turnout proved the voters wanted respite from the BJP’s anti-people policies, corruption and misgovernance.

The COVID-19 protocols were strictly followed during voting. To ensure safe and secure atmosphere in polling areas, live monitoring and webcasting mechanism was put in place. Webcasting arrangements were put in place for 5,039 polling stations.



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