Guwahati: The voting for the presidential poll in Assam today was completed more than three hours before the time limit.

“The voting went very peacefully and there was no issue at all. Former Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta voted last at around 1:40 pm,” the principal secretary to Assam assembly Mrigendra Kumar Deka said.

Former chief minister Tarun Gogoi and BPF member Kamal Shing Narzary are supposed to vote in Delhi, he said adding the rest 124 MLAs of the 126-member house cast their votes before noon itself. Three AIUDF MPs Badruddin Ajmal, Radheshyam Biswas and Sirajuddin Ajmal voted in the assembly.

“We will have to wait till 5 pm as mandated by the Election Commission of India. After that we will seal the ballot box and keep it in the strong room,” Deka said.

The box will be flown to Delhi tomorrow morning for counting later this week, he added.

Some other important points for the unversed:

-The polling time is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

– A total of 32 polling stations have been established — one in Parliament House room no. 62 and rest one each in the State legislative assemblies.

– The ballot paper will be in two colours – Green color Ballot for use by MPs and Pink color for use by MLAs.

– The ballot paper will have two columns – first column containing candidates’ names and second column for marking preferences by electors.

-The ballot paper will be in English and Hindi for use by MPs and in official languages of the state and in English for use by MLAs.

– A total of 33 observers have been appointed by the ECI to oversee conduct of elections – Two in Parliament and one each in other 31 polling stations situated in the legislative assemblies.

-The ECI has permitted 14 Rajya Sabha members, 41 Lok Sabha members to vote in the state legislative assemblies instead in Parliament in today’s Presidential elections. Similarly, it has permitted five MLAs to exercise their vote in Parliament and 4 MLAs to vote in other State legislative Assemblies.

The counting of votes will take place on July 20.

Sonia seeks conscience voting

Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Sunday attacked the Narendra Modi government, saying the country cannot be hostage to those “who wish to impose upon it a narrow-minded, divisive and communal vision” as she called for conscience vote in the presidential and vice-presidential elections.

Addressing a meeting here of several opposition parties on the eve of the presidential poll, she said the election represents “a clash of ideas” and “a conflict of disparate values” and the battle should be fought hard.

Opposition’s presidential candidate Meira Kumar and vice-presidential candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi were present at the meeting. The vice-presidential election will take place on August 5. Both the elections take place through secret ballot and electors are not bound by any whip.

Sonia Gandhi said that presence of MPs from many parties confirmed that the fight for an inclusive, tolerant and pluralistic India is being truly waged.

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