Guwahati: As predicted the polling for the first phase of Assam legislative assembly elections covering 47 constituencies across 12 districts remained largely peaceful except a few sporadic incidents. The voter’s turnout is expected to reach nearly 80 per cent it reached 76.89% till the closing of polling. However, the final figure is
expected to increase.
The polling began on 7 am and many assembly constituencies recoded above 80 percent turnout like Dhing (84 %), Rupohihat (84 %), Amguri (83%), Thowra (83%), Biswanath (82 %), Mahmara (81.96%), Dhakuakhana (81.30%), Sibsagar (81.60%), Behali (81.10%), Kaliabor (80.76 %), Nazira (80.56%), Samaguri (80.10%), Batadroba (80%), Bokakhat (80%) etc.
Various political heavyweights including State chief minister and BJP leader Sarbananda Sonowal cast their votes in respective constituencies Soon after casting his vote, Sonowal claimed that BJP and allies would win the elections. He also rejected the speculation that the citizenship amendment act (CAA) and national register of citizens (NRC) would affect the saffron party in the process.
The State assembly speaker and BJP leader Hitendranath Goswami, State ministers Ranjit Dutta, Naba Kumar Doley, saffron legislators Angoorlata Deka, Prasanta Phukan, Mrinal Saikia, Padma Hazarika, Bhuban Pegu, prominent BJP candidates Ajanta Neog, Utpal Bora, Suren Phukan, Bhaskar Sarma, Kushal Duari, Taranga Gogoi, Surabhi Rajkonwar, Mayur Borgohain, etc exercised their franchises.
Similarly, State Congress president Ripun Bora, opposition leader Debabrata Saikia, party leader Rakibul Hussain, Rupjyoti Kurmi, Bharat Narah, Pranati Phukan, Angkita Dutta, Asom Gana Parishad president Atul Bora, party leaders Keshab Mahanta, Prithiraj Rabha, Pradip Hazarika, Asom Jatiya Parishad chief Lurinjyoti Gogoi, party leader Jagadish Bhuyan, Priyoda Gogoi, mother of Raijor Dol supremo Akhil Gogoi, who is behind the bar for more than a year under the sedition charge, also cast their votes.
State chief electoral officer Nitin Khade informed that all steps were taken to conduct safe, smooth and peaceful polls in 11,537 polling stations, where 264 candidates of various political parties with many independents were in the fray. The authority deployed a large number of police and paramilitary forces to ensure a safe ambience for voters and the State borders were put under close monitoring by the security personnel.
The voter-verifiable paper audit trails (VVPAT, where the voters can verify their votes) along with electronic voting machines (EVM) were used at every polling station. Moreover, following the Covid-19 pandemic guidelines, the authority allowed maximum of 1,000 electors in a polling station. The option of postal ballot facility was already extended to the electors who are infected with the novel coronavirus (or suspected positive), those with disabilities, above 80 years of ages, etc.
The State which has two more phases of polling (1 and 6 April) records a total number of 2,33,74,087 general electors, out of which 1,15,50,403 are females and 398 are trans-genders. Apart from these, 63,074 service voters are reported in the State. In the special summary revision, a total of 12,81,918 electors have been newly
enrolled and the State has a total number of 2,89,474 eighty-plus voters. The counting of votes is scheduled for 2 May (also expected the results same day).