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Turnout between 71% to 83% in Tripura, Assam, Sikkim

Saturday, 12 April 2014 - 6:58pm IST | Place: Agartala/Guwahati/Gangtok | Agency: PTI

Between 71 to 83% polling was registered in five Lok Sabha seats in the eastern states of Tripura, Assam and of Sikkim in the fourth phase of the polls today.

Tripura registered the highest of 83% in one Lok Sabha seat, Assam 72% in three parliamentary seats and Sikkim 71% in one LS and 32 Assembly seats, election office sources said.

In the East Tripura parliamentary seat in the Left Front ruled state, there were 12 candidates in the fray including CPI(M)'s Jitendra Chowdhury, who is the state industries minister, Congress' Sachitra Debbarma, an educationist, BJP's Parkshit Debbarma, an ex-Armyman, and Trinamool Congress leader Bhriguram Reang.

The CPI(M) had won the seat 11 out of 15 times between 1952 and 2009 and consecutively since 1996.

Eleven EVMs malfunctioned during polling and were replaced immediately.

Voters were seen standing in the long queues in urban and rural polling stations of the constituency much before the voting started at 7:00 am.

Polling began an hour and half late at a constituency at Ambassa, the headquarter of Dhalai district as the EVMs there did not function properly and had to be changed, the sources said.

The first phase of the elections in the Tripura West constituency was held on April 7.

In Congress-ruled Assam, voter turnout was the highest in Silchar recording 74% polling followed by Karimganj (SC) constituency with 72% and Autonomous District (ST) comprising Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao districts 71%, the sources said.

The sources said the exact percentage would be available late at night as thousands of people were still standing in queue when polling ended at 5:00 pm.

The electoral fate of 37 contestants, including three sitting MPs and an MLA were sealed in EVMS.

Among the contestants 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 Sushmita Dev, Congress MLA from Silchar and daughter of former Union Minister Santosh Mohan Dev.

EVMs malfunctioned in the Autonomous District and Karimganj constituencies, but were replaced and voting continued uninterrupted, the sources said.

An enthusiastic electorate, in a holiday mood for the forthcoming new year came out in droves to vote in the state's three parliamentary constituencies.

Women and young people, particularly first time voters, were the most enthusiastic queueing up since early morning in the three constituencies of Autonomous District (ST), Karimganj (SC) and Silchar.

The last phase of the polls would be held on April 24 for the remaining six Lok Sabha seats of Dhubri, Kokrajhar, Barpeta, Gauhati, Mangaldoi and Nawgong.

In SDF-ruled Sikkim, among the six contestants for the Lok Sabha seat was Tek Nath Dhakal of the newly-launched Sikkim Krantikari Morcha who was pitted against sitting SDF MP Prem Das Rai.

There are 121 contestants for the 32 Assembly seats.

Of the total Assembly seats, two are reserved for SC and 12 for the Bhutia and Lepcha communities.

Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, eyeing a record fifth consecutive time in office contested from two seats - Namchi-Singhithang and Rangang-Yanga.

Hundreds of monks from Buddhist monasteries voted to choose a Lama as their representative in the state assembly.

The 'Sangha' seat was the only one of its kind in India which was created under Article 371 (F) of the Constitution to give monks representation in governance as was done during the rule of the Chogyals.

Dressed in their traditional flowing maroon robes, monks came out in large numbers in polling booths to stand in queue like other voters, the sources said.

"This is very unique to Sikkim as in other places you will not find a monk coming out to vote for another monk. They are very active, but very peaceful," Sikkim's Joint Chief Electoral Officer Urvashi Poudyal added. 


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