LS polls: 60% voting till afternoon in Assam, 74% in Tripura
Nearly 60 per cent of voters voted till 3 PM today in the five Lok Sabha constituencies of Assam when about 74 per cent cast their votes in the Tripura West Lok Sabha constituency
Tezpur reported 56 per cent polling, Jorhat 60, Lakhimpur 52, Dibrugarh 52.5 and Koliabor 60 per cent, election office sources said.
Prominent contestants in the fray are union ministers and contestants Paban Singh Ghatowar (Dibrugarh) and Ranee Narah (Lakhimpur), former union minister and sitting Congress MP Bijoy Krishna Handique (Jorhat).
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi’s son Gaurav (Koliabor), besides Congress rebel and independent candidate Moni Kumar Subba and BJP state unit president Sabananda Sonowal (Lakhimpur) are also locked in the electoral battle.
Police said four persons, including a woman, suffered injuries when they clashed with CRPF personnel demanding they be allowed to cast their vote early at a voting centre in Sarupathar Silonijan area of Kaliabor constituency.
At least 40 EVMs malfunctioned in Dibrugarh, Kaliabor, Tezpur and Lakhimpur constituencies, the sources said adding 29 of them were replaced and snags in the others rectified for voting to continue uninterrupted.
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who was talking to reporters after casting his vote at Jorhat, exuded confidence and said Congress would sweep the polls in the state and win more than 10 of the 14 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
“There is no Modi magic, but Tarun Gogoi magic in Assam. Earlier, I had said we will win ten seats but now I am sure the Congress will get more than that,” he asserted.
Besides Congress and BJP, Trinamool Congress, AIUDF, AGP, AAP, SUCI, CPI(M), AIFB and SP are in the fray in the five seats.
About 74 per cent of the electorate cast their votes peacefully till 3:00 pm in the Tripura West Lok Sabha constituency in the first phase of polling in the Left Front ruled state.
“Approximately 74 per cent voters cast their votes till 3 pm. The election remained completely incident free so far,” Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Ashutosh Jindal told reporters.
He said, barring a few complaints EVMs functioned well and in case of minor problems they were either changed or repaired.
The seat was witnessing a multi-cornered contest among CPI(M), Congress, TMC and the BJP.
Among the 13 candidates, major contestants were CPI(M)’s Shankar Prasad Dutta, secretary of the state unit of CITU, Congress’ Arunoday Saha, former vice-Chancellor of Tripura Central University, Sudhindra Dasgupta, BJP’s state unit chief and Chairman of the state unit of TMC and former minister Ratan Chakraborty.
The CPI(M) won the seat ten out of 15 times between 1952 and 2009. Since 1996 the CPI(M) consistently won this seat.
Chief Minister and CPI-M politburo member Manik Sarkar told reporters after casting his vote, “In reality there is no wave like Modi wave in the country. It is actually the creation of the corporate media.”
Sarkar, however, said that there was a possibility turnout would be lesser than in the last Assembly polls in the state.
Voter turnout in the state assembly elections held in February last year was a staggering 93 per cent, which was a record in the country.
Polling for the East Tripura (ST Reserve) seat will be held on April 12. There were two LS seats in the state.