Lok Sabha elections: Voting underway in Assam and Tripura amid heavy security, long queues seen

PTI | DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Apr 7, 2014, 3:03 pm IST
Updated Apr 8, 2019, 3:09 am IST
Voters wait in queues to cast their votes during the first phase of elections in Dibrugarh, in Assam, India (Photo: AP)
 Voters wait in queues to cast their votes during the first phase of elections in Dibrugarh, in Assam, India (Photo: AP)

Guwahati/Agartala: The first phase of the Lok Sabha elections in five seats in Assam and for Tripura West began on Monday on a peaceful note.

In Congress-ruled Assam state, BJP, the Congress, Trinamool Congress, AIUDF, AGP, AAP, SUCI, CPI(M), AIFB and SP are contesting in the five seats in Tezpur, Koliabor, Jorhat, Dibrugarh and Lakhimpur.

Among the 51 candidates, Union ministers Ranee Narah and Paban Singh Ghatowar, former Union minister and sitting MLA Bijoy Krishna Handique, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi's son Gourav Gogoi and Bhupen Kumar Bora are for the Congress.

Congress rebel and Independent candidate Moni Kumar Subba is also in the fray.

For the BJP, its unit president Sorbananda Sonowal and Kamakhya Prasad Tasa are contesting while AGP's nominees are Arun Kumar Sarma, Pradip Hazarika and Joseph Toppo.

An electorate of 64,41,634, including 31,20,067 women, are expected to exercise their franchise at 8,588 polling stations.

For the first time in the Northeast region and the third time in the country after Kashmir and Bihar, all polling booths have been declared smoking free.

Security measures have been tightened for the polls with additional companies of security forces deployed. The next phase of the polls will be held on April 12 for three Lok Sabha seats.

Meanwhile, in Left Front-ruled Tripura state voting began for two parliamentary constituencies.

The seat will witness a multi-cornered contest among the CPI(M), the Congress, the TMC and the BJP.

Among the 13 candidates, major contestants are 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.

The CPI(M) has won the seat ten out of 15 times between 1952 and 2009. Since 1996 the CPI(M) has consistently won this seat.

Of the 12,46,794 voters, 634702 are male and the remaining female.

Altogether 1,605 polling stations have been set up for the constituency of which only two have been identified as very vulnerable, 486 as vulnerable.

The Election Commission has set up nine all-women polling stations considering the track record of good performance by women personnel.

An additional 35 companies of security forces have been dispatched by the EC for deployment along with the state police.

The BSF has deployed additional forces along the 856 km Indo-Bangla international border. Polling for the East Tripura (ST Reserve) seat will be held on April 12.

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