World’s largest poll exercise begins with huge voter turnout

A high turnout of 85 per cent was recorded for one Lok Sabha seat in Tripura, while Assam registered 78 per cent in five seats in the first phase of the elections which began peacefully on Monday from the country’s North East.

In Tripura, where election was held to the Tripura West Seat, chief electoral officer, Asutosh Jindal said the 85 per cent of the electorate voted while polls were incident free.

Stating that there were long queues before 200 booths till 7 pm, Jindal said that complete computation was not possible.

‘This percentage might rise again,’ he told reporters.

In Assam, 78 per cent of the electorate cast their votes with a large number of EVMs malfunctioning with repoll being considered in some places.

Tezpur recorded 75 per cent voting, Jorhat 76 per cent, Lakhimpur 76, Dibrugarh 70 and Kaliabor 80 per cent. The turnout figure might rise with long queues before polling stations, EC officials said.

Re-polling might take place in some polling stations as the voting process stopped for some times due to problems in EVMs. A final decision would be taken by the Election Commission after getting a report from respective returning officers,’ chief election officer Vijayendra said.

According to the returning officers of Jorhat, Tezpur, Lakhimpur, Kaliabor and Dibrugarh constituencies, over 76 per cent polling took place to seal the electoral fate of 51 contestants, including two union ministers.

They said that 93 EVMS were replaced due to technical problems.

In Tripura, the electoral fates of 13 candidates, including CPI(M)’s Shankar Prasad Dutta, secretary of the state unit of CITU, Congress’ Arunoday Saha, former vice-chancellor of Tripura Central University, Sudhindra Dasgupta, BJP’s state unit chief and chairman of the state unit of TMC and former minister Ratan Chakraborty, were sealed in EVMs.

The CPI(M) had won Tripura West seat 10 out of 15 times between 1952 and 2009. Since 1996 the CPI(M) had consistently won this seat. 
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