Over 37 per cent voting was recorded till noon today during the third and final phase of polling in Assam's six Lok Sabha seats. According to election office sources, Guwhati registered 40 per cent voting, Kokrajhar 41 per cent, Dhubri 39 per cent, Barpeta 34 per cent, Mangaldoi 35 per cent and Nowgong 32 per cent.
With the temperature shooting up to nearly 40 degree Celsius in Guwahati and being high in the other constituencies, voters were seen standing in long queues in front of the polling stations from 6.30 am to finish casting their ballots before it got too hot. Enthusiasm was noticed among the first time voters in the 18-21 years age group as they lined up in large numbers. Altogether 74 contestants, including nine women, are in the electoral battle for the six seats.
EVM malfunctioning was reported in several polling centres but voting continued after the EVMs were replaced, the sources said. The prominent candidates in this phase of polling are the AIUDF president and sitting MP Badruddin Ajmal, Assam Tourism and Transport Minister Chandan Brahma of BPF, sitting BPF MP S K Bwiswmuthiary, former ULFA Commander Naba (Hira) Sarania contesting as an independent, former Meghalaya Governor and NSG chief Ranjit Shekhar Mooshahary of Trinamool Congress.
Also in the fray are sitting Congress MP Ismail Hussain, former AGP President and now a BJP member Chandra Mohan Patowary, AGP MLA Phani Bhushan Choudhury, sitting BJP MPs Ramen Deka, Bijoya Chakravarty and Rajen Gohain, AGP candidate and former Rajya Sabha member Birendra Prasad Baishya.