Assam Elections 2021: Polling for 1st phase ends, 72.58% voter turnout recorded amid fears over COVID-19
Guwahati | Jagran Politics Desk: The phase of polling of assembly elections in Assam that saw voting for 47 seats ended on Saturday with voter turnout of 72.58 per cent till 7 pm, said the Election Commission, adding that no untoward incident was reported.
As per the Election Commission, the maximum voter turnout was recorded in the Rupohihat constituency at 83 per cent while Sootea constituency saw the lowest voting percentage at 64 per cent.
In the first phase of polling, the fate of several political heavyweight candidates, including Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Assembly Speaker Hitendranath Goswami, were sealed on Saturday.
Apart from Sonowal, who seeking a second straight term, the first phase of polling will also decide the fate of several current state ministers, including Terash Gowala, Sanjoy Kishan, Ranjit Dutta and Naba Kumar Doley.
The EC had earlier said that more than 81.09 lakh voters -- including 40.77 lakh male, 40.32 lakh women, 124 of the third gender and nine overseas voters -- will decide the fate of 264 candidates in the first phase of polling in Assam.
It had said that more than 30,000 Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) were deployed for the first phase polling in Assam to maintain law and order.
The BJP, which is banking on the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, is hoping to retain power in Assam. The first phase is also particularly important for the BJP as it had won 35 of the 47 seats in the 2016 polls.
The Congress, which had won just nine seats of the 47 constituencies, is however trying to make a comeback in the state. It has said that the BJP-led NDA alliance has already sensed defeat in the election and has promised that surrendered cadres of militant bodies will be provided with jobs in the army and paramilitary forces to win the polls.
"The UPPL promised that jobs in the army and paramilitary forces will be provided to surrendered cadres of militant organisations. Since when can a state party promise jobs in the defence forces? It is a desperate attempt to misguide people for votes. Why is the BJP silent on this?," said senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Saturday, as reported by news agency PTI.
"People's strong support for the Congress' Five Guarantees that are visionary, realistic and deal with the core issues of Assam has forced the BJP to resort to desperate measures," he added.
The second phase of polling in Assam will be held on April 1 while the counting of votes will take place on May 2.
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma