Today's Paper

Boycott mars final phase in Assam

Sushanta Talukdar

Guwahati: Between 62 and 65 per cent votes were cast in the second and final phase of polling on Thursday for 11 of the14 seats in Assam. However, 12 booths under four Lok Sabha constituencies of Dhubri, Lakhimpur, Dibrugarh and Tezpur recorded nil polling with the voters boycotting to register a protest against “bad roads” and alleged inaction by the government to prevent flood menace. Altogether, 121 candidates were in the fray.

The polling was by and large peaceful barring stray incidents of violence, rigging attempts and group clashes. Re-polling was recommended in seven polling stations — five under Kokrajhar Lok Sabha constituency and two in Mangaldoi constituency — following reports of destruction of electronic voting machines and an alleged attempt at rigging by miscreants.

Violence

In one incident of violence which occurred one hour after the close of polling hours, miscreants hacked to death Goalpara district general secretary of the Assam United Democratic Front Ganesh Hazarika at a place under Mornoi police station of Dhubri Lok Sabha constituency.

Turnout was low in upper Assam because of rain but picked up in the afternoon, said an official of the Election Department.

Of the 14 polling stations covering 60 villages under Bilasipara Assembly constituency of Dhubri Lok Sabha constituency, nine booths recorded nil polling, while only 103 votes were cast in the rest.

Of the total 13,571 votes in these 14 polling stations, 13,468 voters boycotted polling to demand a road for a stretch of 14 km from Beltoli to Kudaldhowa covering the 60 villages.

In Tezpur Lok Sabha constituency, 383 voters of Sopora Chburi Beseria L.P. School polling station boycotted polling to protest against “bad road.”

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