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25 Per Cent Turnout in Assam Till 11.30 AM

Polling has been brisk since early morning with enthusiastic voters, especially women and first-timers, queueing up even before polling began at 7 am, officials said.

Guwahati: An estimated 25 per cent voters on Thursday exercised their franchise till 11.30 am in five parliamentary constituencies in Assam, polling officials said.

State Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Mukesh Sahu told PTI that polling has so far been peaceful without any untoward incident, though there was delay due to EVM malfunctioning in some booths spread across all the five constituencies.

An IED, which was detected at an oil pipeline passing through a tea garden at Duliajan under Dibrugarh district, has been successfully defused, a police officer said.

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The Tezpur, Kaliabor, Jorhat, Dibrugarh and Lakhimpur Lok Sabha constituencies have an electorate of 76,03,458, including 38,65,334 male, 37,37,970 female and 154 of the third gender, who will decide the fate of 41 candidates.

EVMs have been replaced in several booths but the exact number is being collected and the details will be available by evening, the CEO said.

Polling has been brisk since early morning with enthusiastic voters, especially women and first-timers, queueing up even before polling began at 7 am, officials said.

Most of the 225 model polling stations have been decorated with balloons and flowers, while the first voter was offered the traditional Assamese ‘gamusa’. Arrangements for drinking water, baby feeding rooms and resting place for the elderly have also been made.

Many volunteers were seen escorting the elderly and people with disabilities in their wheel chairs.

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Among the prominent candidates to cast their votes in the first half of the day was Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal at 153 Asam Sahitya Sabha in Dibrugar, former CM Tarun Gogoi, his wife Dolly and son Gaurav, who is the sitting MP and contesting Congress candidate from Kaliabor.

Lakhimpur Congress candidate Anil Borgohain was the first to cast his ballot at an all-woman polling booth, while his BJP rival and sitting MP Pradan Barua exercised his franchise at Dhemaji.

Polling in Assam will take place in three phases on April 11, 18 and 23.

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