GUWAHATI/AGARTALA: Brisk polling was reported from both Assam and Tripura today where people turned up to vote in the first of the nine-phased Lok Sabha elections.
According to sources, 27 per cent voting was registered in Tezpur, 45 per cent in Jorhat, 32 per cent in Lakhimpur, 38 per cent in Dibrugarh and 30 per cent in Koliabor till noon.
A report from Agartala said that around 40 per cent peaceful polling was recorded till noon in the Tripura West Lok Sabha seat.
In Assam, long queues of voters were seen in front of the 8,588 polling stations, an hour before the voting began at 7 am, particularly in the rural areas where poll campaigning was intense.
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, his wife Dolly Gogoi and his son and Koliabor constituency Congress candidate Gaurav Gogoi cast their vote in Jorhat.
Security measures were tight for the polls with additional companies of security forces, including CRPF, being deployed.
A report from Agartala said that people, including women and senior citizens were seen in long queues before booths much before polling began in the capital city.
While male voters outnumbered female voters in the state capital and other towns, women were more in number in tribal compact areas like Mandai and Burakha, about 35 km from here. Tribal women were also seen in traditional attire.
The ninth phase Lok Sabha election will end on May 12 and counting will take place on May 16. .
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi while talking to reporters after casting his vote claimed that the Congress would sweep the polls in the state winning more than ten seats.
“There is no Modi magic, but Tarun Gogoi magic in Assam. Earlier, I had said we will win ten seats, but now I am sure the Congress will get more than that,” he said.
This view was echoed also by the Tripura Chief Minister in Agartala. “In reality there is no wave like the Modi wave in the country. It is actually a creation of the corporate media.”
In Assam, a considerable number of the 6.5 lakh first-time voters in the 18-19 age group were enthusiastic about exercising their franchise.
Most of the early morning voters were women, who said they wanted to cast their ballots beginning housework for the day.
Reports were received of 33 EVMs malfunctioning due to technical problem in Dibrugarh, Kaliabor, Tezpur and Lakhimpur constituencies which were replaced and voting continued uninterrupted.
Four persons, including a woman, demanding to cast their vote early at a voting centre in Sarupathar Silonijan area of Kaliabor constituency, received minor injuries in a fracas with CRPF personnel, police sources said.
Union ministers and contestants Paban Singh Ghatowar and Ranee Narah voted in Dibrugarh and Lakhimpur constituencies, respectively.
Former union minister and sitting MP Bijoy Krishna Handique, contesting as a Congress nominee from Jorhat, cast his vote with his family.
Congress rebel and Independent candidate Moni Kumar Subba was also in the fray.
BJP state unit president Sorbananda Sonowal was also contesting.
Congress, BJP, Trinamool Congress, AIUDF, AGP, AAP, SUCI, CPI(M), AIFB and SP were contesting in the five seats in the first phase of elections in the state.
The state election office was web casting the election process at each one of the polling stations.
For the first time in the northeast region, all polling booths have been declared smoking-free.
The next phase of the polls will be held on April 12 for three Lok Sabha seats. -PTI