29 C
Guwahati
Thursday, May 30, 2024

Long queues outside polling booths in Assam; Sonowal, Gogoi vote early

35 candidates in fray in Lok Sabha polls in five constituencies

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

GUWAHATI, April 19: Long queues were seen outside booths since the morning as polling was underway for five constituencies in Assam in the first phase on Friday.

Poling began at 7 am in Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Lakhimpur, Sonitpur and Kaziranga seats, and 86.5 lakh voters are eligible to vote.

- Advertisement -

Union minister Sarbananda Sonowal of the BJP and Congress’s deputy leader in Lok Sabha Gaurav Gogoi were among those who cast their votes in the first hour.

There were apprehensions that the weather might play a spoilsport with the entire Upper Assam remaining cloudy, but gradually the sky cleared up.

“It is really a good sign that people are coming out in such a large number. People’s spontaneous participation will strengthen democracy,” Sonowal, the BJP candidate of Dibrugarh, said after casting his vote at a polling booth in Laxminath Bezbarua Bhawan in Chowkiding.

People are happy under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi and that is why they are coming out in large numbers, he claimed.

- Advertisement -

Gogoi voted at a polling booth in Devi Charan Barua Higher Secondary School in Jorhat town.

Among the other prominent persons who cast their votes early were Sonowal’s rival Lurinjyoti Gogoi in Tinsukia district, BJP’s Sonitpur candidate Ranjit Dutta in Behali, Kaziranga’s Congress contestant Roselina Tirkey in Sarupathar and BJP’s Lakhimpur candidate Pradan Baruah in Dhemaji.

State Congress president Bhupen Kumar Bora voted at a booth in Deotala ME School in Bihpuria.

“I reached the voting centre at 6 am. I didn’t want to miss the election. This is my only choice to decide my future,” 20-year-old Akhtara Begum said while standing in the queue at a voting centre in Jorhat.

- Advertisement -

The total number of polling stations in the first phase is 10,001, of which 92 are model polling stations, 11 are PwD-managed and 752 are female-managed centres. Webcasting was available at 5,509 polling stations.

Lankeswar Barua, a 100-year-old senior citizen, decided not to opt for home voting and went along with his wife to a booth in Naharkatia in Dibrugarh.

“Who said I am old? I can come myself and vote. I have never voted from home, why should I when I can walk around?” he told reporters.

Reports of EVM malfunctioning came from at least three polling booths of Bihpuria in Lakhimpur, one each in Hojai, Kaliabor and Bokakhat, and one in Naharkatia of Dibrugarh, an official said.

“Most of the glitches were noticed during the mock poll, which started 90 minutes before the commencement of the actual voting. Those glitches were rectified immediately. Voting started sometime late in those booths and now it is going smoothly,” he said.

A total of 40,004 polling personnel are engaged in the first phase, with a posse of security personnel from state and central forces.

In total, 35 candidates are in the fray in the five constituencies. (PTI)

- Advertisement -
The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttps://thehillstimes.in/
Welcome to The Hills Times, your trusted source for daily news and updates in English from the heart of Assam, India. Since our establishment in 2000, we've been dedicated to providing timely and accurate information to our readers in Diphu and Guwahati. As the first English newspaper in the then undemarcated Karbi Anglong district, we've forged a strong connection with diverse communities and age groups, earning a reputation for being a reliable source of news and insights. In addition to our print edition, we keep pace with the digital age through our website, https://thehillstimes.in, where we diligently update our readers with the latest happenings day by day. Whether it's local events, regional developments, or global news, The Hills Times strives to keep you informed with dedication and integrity. Join us in staying ahead of the curve and exploring the world through our lens.
Latest news
- Advertisement -
Related news
- Advertisement -
10 Famous Tamil Dishes To Try Visiting The State 10 Must-Visit Monsoon Getaways From Hyderabad Top 8 Places To Visit In Tezpur, Assam 10 Breathtaking Valleys To Visit In India In 2024 Top 10 Summer Attractions In Meghalaya