Brisk 45 percent voting estimated


An estimated 45 per cent of the 85,09,011 electorate cast their votes till 2 PM in 62 Assam assembly constituencies where polling is on in the first phase today, election commission sources said.
Brisk polling ranging from 35-55 per cent was reported from all constituencies of upper Assam, Barak Valley, the hills districts of North Cachar and Karbi Anglong and Sonitpur district in the northern bank of Brahmaputra.
Polling was held up due to malfunctioning of EVMs at six polling stations at Lakhimpur, Naoboicha, Bokajan and Diphu constituencies but later picked up as the problems were tackled, the sources said.
There was no report of any untoward incident so far and for the first time in 15 years, 41 cadres of the ethnic Karbi Longri National Liberation Front participated and cast their vote in two designated camps in Karbi Anglong district.
The pro-talk faction of the ULFA led by the outfit chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, however, decided to stay away.
The anti-talk Paresh Barua faction had threatened Congress leaders and workers in the state.
Polling was boycotted in 10 polling stations at Haflong by Indigenous People Forum, an umbrella organisation of Hmar, Kuki and Zeme Naga tribes, demanding bifurcation of North Cachar Hills district into two autonomous hills districts.
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi accompanied by his wife Dolly and son Gaurav, Union DONER minister B K Handique and Lok Sabha MP Dip Gogoi, Speaker Tanka Bahadur Rai, Deputy Speaker Pranati Phukan, ministers Gautam Roy, Pradyut Bordoloi, Ajanta Gogoi, Nurjamal Sarkar, Prithvi Majhi and D P Gowala were among those who cast their votes.
There are 485 candidates in fray for the 62 of the 126 assembly seats where polls are on today, the sources said.
The election to the remaining 64 seats will be held in the second phase on April 11.