Assam Assembly Elections 2016

Live: 78% polling in Assam first phase

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There were no reports of violence in any of the 65 of the 126 constituencies where polling is being held in the first phase.

Sixty-five of the 126 Assembly constituencies in Assam go to the polls today, deciding the fate of 539 candidates, including high-profile ones like Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and the BJP’s Chief Ministerial candidate Sarbananda Sonowal.

The stakes are high for key national and regional players. The ruling BJP has a winning chance only in Assam, where it has stitched an alliance with the Asom Gana Parishad and the Bodoland People’s Front. The saffron party likes to see this as an “indigenous people’s” alliance.

Latest Updates:

4:50 pm: 67 per cent of little over 95.11 lakh voters cast their ballots till 3:30 pm. There were no reports of violence in any of the 65 of the 126 constituencies where polling is being held in the first phase.

3:30 pm: Campaigning for the second and last phase of elections in Goalpara, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi said his party is committed to ‘Make in Assam’ initiative to provide employment to more than 10 lakh youths.

3.00 pm: An estimated 51 per cent polling was recorded till 2 p.m. in 65 constituencies of Assam. >Read more

1:30 pm: “People want change (Congress government) for a free, clean and efficient government. They want an administration that protects their culture too”, said BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Sarbananda Sonowal who is contesting from Majuli, Asia’s largest fresh water island in the Brahmaputra.

Sonowal claimed that he and his party workers had to guard all the polling stations in Majuli “despite a government being there".



12:02 pm: A few reports of malfunctioning of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in some polling centres have been reported, due to which voting was affected for some time but they were swifty replaced, election office said.



11:30 am: At least 20 per cent voter turnout recorded till 11 a.m. for 1st phase of the election. > Read more

Elderly Assamese women come out from a polling station. Photo: Ritu raj Konwar

10:20 am: Voters, particularly women and first timers, were seen queuing at polling booths from 5 AM to participate in the democratic process where the ruling Congress, the BJP—AGP—BPF alliance and the AIUDF are locked in a keen battle.





Tarun Gogoi after casting his vote. Photo: Ritu raj Konwar



9:15 am: Voicing confidence that the people would elect a Congress government in Assam, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said only his party has brought change for the better through development in the state, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi has “failed” to fulfill his promises. Talking to reporters after casting his vote, Mr.Gogoi said,“People want change for the better and not change for the worse".

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, along with his wife Dolly Gogoi, son and MP Gaurav Gogoi and brother Deep Gogoi, cast his ballot at the polling station in Debicharan Baruah Girls High School in Jorhat. > Read more





8: 20 am: BJP's chief ministerial candidate in Assam Sarbananda Sonowal offers prayers at a temple in Majuli.



Photo: ANI


7: 45 am: Don't care much about the elections in Assam? Here are five reasons why you should!

7: 15 am: Once cut-off from the electoral list, getting re-enrolled is a painful exercise for these migrants who work outside Assam. Fear of being struck off voters’ lists and branded Bangladeshis haunts them. > Read more.

— Not even the simple anti-incumbency factor can help predict the winner, despite 15 years of Congress rule, headed by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, says our political correspondent > Nistula Hebbar writes.

7: 00 am: Voting begins in Assam.

6: 45 am: Who are the key candidates in the Assam Elections? > Find out about them here.

— Security has been tightened across the state with the Indo-Bangla border along Barak Valley’s Karimganj district sealed and more than 40,000 security personnel deployed in the 65 constituencies spread across Upper Assam, hill districts, northern banks and Barak Valley.

6: 45 am: The ruling Congress, the BJP-AGP-BPF alliance and the AIUDF are locked in a keen battle as the stage is set for the first phase of Assam assembly polls to be held amidst tight security on Monday for deciding the fate of 539 candidates in 65 of the 126 constituencies. > Read more.

> Here's what you need to know:

6:30 am: Assam is crucial for the Congress too, which needs reasons to cheer after losing the Lok Sabha polls, Delhi, Haryana and Maharashtra. But Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi is facing anti-incumbency and a grand BJP-AGP-BPF alliance.

— Assam is crucial for the BJP. It is the only State that can give the party reason to celebrate this year; it is a gateway to the north-east, where the BJP has been weak, and opposition to “Bangladeshi immigration”, an issue in Assam, is key to the party’s ideological world-view.

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Printable version | Dec 17, 2018 4:31:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/assam2016/live-phase-i-of-the-assam-assembly-election-begins/article8430415.ece

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