Around 67 per cent polling was registered in the by-election to Dhemaji Assembly constituency on Sunday, much lower than the turnout of the Assembly poll held last year. “The election has ended and we have reports of 66.97 per cent of voting till 5 PM,” Returning Officer Roshni Aparanji Korati told PTI. In the Assembly elections of 2016, 80.65 per cent of the electorates voted in Dhemaji. Polling was peaceful, Korati said.
Korati, also the Deputy Commissioner of Dhemaji district, said that polling began three hours late at 10 AM at Barabhuyan LP School in Bordoloni booth due to malfunctioning of EVM, which was replaced.
Altogether 11 EVMs and 20 Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines were replaced during the polling due to faults, she added. The bypoll was necessitated following the election of BJP MLA Pradan Baruah to the Lok Sabha after Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal vacated his Parliamentary seat.
The counting of votes will take place on April 13. The five candidates in the fray are Ranoj Pegu of BJP, Babul Sonowal of Congress, Jadu Hazarika of CPI(M), Hem Kanta Miri of SUCI(C) and Independent Rajkumar Doley. The bypoll was held in 273 booths and the authorities declared 20 of them as very sensitive and 141 as sensitive.