A voter turnout of 37% was recorded till noon for three Lok Sabha seats in Assam.
Karimganj (SC) recorded the highest of 40% polling, Silchar 35% and Autonomous District (ST) comprising Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao districts 36%, election office sources said.
EVM malfunction was reported from the Autonomous District and Karimganj constituencies but they were replaced and voting continued uninterrupted, the sources said. Long queues of voters, including women and young people, were seen from an hour before polling began at 7:00 am. Of the 37 contestants in the fray, prominent ones were sitting Congress MPs of Karimganj and Autonomous Districts Lalit Mohan Suklabaidya and Biren Singh Ingti respectively, Silchar's sitting BJP MP and former union minister Kabindra Purukayastha besides Congress MLA from Silchar Sushmita Dev, daughter of former union minister Santosh Mohan Dev.
Of the candidates, three each belong to the Congress and BJP, two each to AGP, AIUDF, AAP, SUCI (Communist) and Samajwadi Party, one each to CPI(M), CPI-ML (L), Trinamool Congress, Shiv Sena and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha. The remaining 19 were independents. Strong security arrangements were in place, especially in Dima Hasao and Karbi Anglong districts which till yesterday witnessed a bandh called by the militant Karbi Peoples' Liberation Tigers.
A huge quantity of explosives, including RDX, gelatin sticks, grenades, detonators, an AK-56 rifle and ammunition hidden by militants in Dima Hasao district were recovered by Assam Rifles and police last night, AR sources said. For the first time in the Northeast region and the third time in the country after Kashmir and Bihar, all polling booths were declared smoking free by the EC.
The state election office was web casting the poll process at polling stations. The next phase of the polls would be held on April 24 for the remaining six Loki Sabha seats. The first phase was held on April seven for five constituencies.