High turnout in Assam, West Bengal in second phase; one dead in police firing, FIR against Tarun Gogoi

High voter turnout was recorded in the assembly polls in Assam and West Bengal where an estimated 79 per cent and 75 per cent of the voters cast their ballots on Monday.

By: PTI | Guwahati/kolkata | Updated: April 11, 2016 9:11:41 pm
elections 2016, assam elections, west bengal elections, assam polls, west bengal polls, assembly elections 2016, tmc, congress, bjp, mamata banerjee Voters stand in queue to caste their votes. (Source: PTI)

Assam and West Bengal recorded an impressive voter turnout of of 82.21 per cent and 79.51 per cent respectively in the assembly polls which were marked by sporadic clashes and registration of an FIR against Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi for violation of electoral law.

In Assam, where balloting was held in 61 constituencies in the second and final phase, an 80-year-old voter died in a scuffle between CRPF personnel and the locals over forming a queue at a polling station in Sorbhog seat in Barpeta district, officials said. Three others, including a CRPF Assistant Commandant and a constable were also injured in the incident.

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Security personnel fired in the air to quell a protest at at Chaygaon in Kamrup district after a CRPF constable allegedly “misbehaved” with a pregnant voter who re-entered a polling station to pick up her child whom she had inadvertently forgotten to carry while leaving after casting her vote.

The entire team of CRPF deployed in the polling station was replaced after the incident, the district superintendent of police Prasanta Saikia said.

Long queues were seen outside polling booths since early morning and prominent among those who cast their vote was former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, a Rajya Sabha member of the Congress from the state since 1991. Singh came to Guwahati from Delhi to cast his ballot at Dispur Government High School.

There were reports of malfunctioning of EVMs from some polling centres but the machines were replaced immediately, election office said.

Prominent among those whose fate will be decided in the second phase include cabinet ministers Rakibul Hussain, Chandan Sarkar and Nazrul Islam of Congress, AGP leader and former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta and BJP national spokesman Sidhartha Bhattacharya. Also in the fray is former Congress minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who revolted against Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and later joined BJP last year.

There are 525 candidates in the fray.

Congress, which under Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi is seeking a fourth straight term in power, has fielded 57 candidates, BJP 35, its allies AGP 19 and BPF 10, AIDUF 47, CPI-M nine and CPI five.

65 of the state’s 126 seats had gone to polls on April 4.

In West Bengal, where TMC leader Mamata Banerjee is seeking a second term in office, an estimated 75 per cent voters cast their ballots till around 4:30 pm in 31 seats where voting was held in the second part of the first phase of poll.

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