Guwahati: An estimated 12.36 per cent of over 74 lakh voters exercised their franchise in the first two hours of polling Tuesday in four Lok Sabha seats of Assam, an election official said. Voting has been brisk since morning with the weather being sunny and women and first-time voters queuing up outside polling booths in large numbers, he said, “tight security arrangements have been made across the four constituencies — Dhubri, Kokrajhar (ST), Barpeta and Gauhati — to ensure peaceful voting in the third and final phase of elections in the state.”
Dhubri registered the highest voter turnout till 9 am at 14.52 per cent, followed by Gauhati at 12.38 per cent and Barpeta at 11.71 per cent. Kokrajhar recorded the lowest voter turnout so far at 10.41 per cent. According to the poll official, there were reports of EVM glitches from several booths of the four constituencies, but the polling personnel are working to replace the faulty machines with fresh ones.
A total of 74,76,062 electorate – 38,15,335 male, 36,61,570 women and 157 of the third gender – will cast votes in 9,577 booths to seal the fate of 54 candidates. Prominent among those in the fray are two sitting MPs AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal in Dhubri and Independent Naba Sarania in Kokrajhar – BPF candidate and state social welfare minister Pramila Rani from Kokrajhar and Congress MLA Abdul Khaleque from Barpeta.
Pramila Rani, Congress candidate Bobbeta Sharma and UPPL candidate and former Rajya Sabha member UG Brahma were among the first ones to cast their vote in the morning. Former prime minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur are scheduled to exercise their franchise later in the day at Dispur Higher Secondary Government School in Gauhati constituency.