Assam records 12 percent polling in first two hours

Guwahati : People queued up at polling booths in Assam’s five constituencies as balloting began in the first phase of the Lok Sabha election Monday. The state recorded 12 percent voting in the first two hours, officials said here.

The polling started at 7 a.m. in most of the polling stations, barring a few polling booths under Kaliabor and Tezpur Lok Sabha constituencies where the process was delayed due to some technical snags in the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

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People were seen queuing up at most of the 8,588 polling booths since early hours in the morning.

An estimated 6.4 million people are eligible to vote in Tezpur, Jorhat, Kaliabor, Dibrugarh and Lakhimpur constituencies.

A total of 51 candidates are in the fray in the first phase.

Assam will elect the remaining nine Lok Sabha members April 12 and April 24. Ten candidates are in the fray in Jorhat, nine in Tezpur, 13 each in Kaliabor and Lakhimpur and six candidates in Dibrugarh.

Among Monday’s candidates are lottery baron Mani Kumar Subba (independent) from Tezpur constituency, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi’s son Gourav Gogoi who is contesting from Kaliabor constituency, outgoing Congress MP Bijoy Krishna Handique and veteran Communist leader Drupad Borgohain in Jorhat constituency.

BJP state president Sarbananda Sonowal and union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Ranee Narah is contesting in Lakhimpur constituency and union Minister Paban Singh Ghatowar (Congress) and Rameswar Teli of the BJP and AGP’s Anoop Phukan are in the fray in Dibrugarh constituency.

A total of 38,463 officials are engaged in running the poll operations smoothly in the five constituencies.