Six NE Assembly seats record high turn-out

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HT Bureau

GUWAHATI/SHILLONG/ITANAGAR, Oct 21: An estimated 74.15 percent voter turnout was recorded till 5 pm across the four assembly constituencies in Assam that went to bye-election on Monday, while Khonsa West in Arunachal Pradesh and Shella in Meghalaya recoded a very high voting percentage.

Chief Electoral Officer of Assam Mukesh Sahu said that, 74.15 percent polling was recorded till 5 pm.

The final poll percentage is, however, expected to be higher as queues of voters are seen waiting at the polling booths. As per norm those who enter the polling booths before the scheduled end of voting are allowed to exercise their franchise.

The highest polling percentage of 78.21 per cent was recorded at Jania, followed by 77.50 per cent at Rangapara, 74.37 per cent at Karimganj and 66.40 per cent at Sonari, the sources said.

Polling started at around 7 am in all the 830 polling stations of the four assembly constituencies.

20 candidates are in fray in four assembly seats. In last assembly election in Assam, BJP won Ratabari, Sonari and Rangapara seats while Congress had pocketed Jania seat.

The bypolls to these constituencies were necessitated as sitting BJP MLAs and ministers Pallab Lochan Das(Rangapara)  and Tapan Gogoi (Sonari) along with Deputy Speaker Kripanath Mallah (Ratabari) and Congress MLA Abdul Khaleque (Jania) have been elected to the Lok Sabha earlier this year.

On the other hand, 90.74% voter turnout was recorded till 5 pm in Arunachal Pradesh’s West Khonsa seat and 79.38% in Meghalaya’s Shella seat.

Over 79.38 percent poll was recorded till 5pm in Shella constituency. Altogether, six contestants in the fray will fight to represent the prestigious seat, which had been represented by former Assembly Speaker and United Democratic Party (UDP), Dr. Donkupar Roy for seven consecutive times.

The by-election was necessitated following the demise of Roy on July 21. The UDP has fielded Balajiedkupar Synrem, son of Roy. The National People’s Party, which is leading the ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) coalition government has extended its support to Synrem. However, two ruling MDA partners – the BJP and the People’s Democratic Front (PDF) – are also in the fray and fielded Joshua Warjri and Mosjo Rock F. Wanswett respectively.

In Khonsa bye-poll, though voting was moderate in the morning hours, it gained momentum as the day progressed, joint Chief Electoral Officer D J Bhattacharjee said.

The polling was absolutely peaceful amid tight security measures without any report of untoward incidents from the constituency which witnessed a straight contest between two independent candidates – Chakat Aboh and Azet Hamtok.

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