70 % turnout in 2nd phase of Assam elections

A security guard walks past Bodo tribal women standing in a queue to cast their votes, outside a polling center  in Jogeshpur village along the Indo-Bhutan border, about 120 kilometers (74 miles) west of Guwahati on Monday, April 11. (AP Photo)
 
Guwahati, April 11 (ANI): Brisk polling was recorded on Monday in the second and final phase of elections for 64 assembly constituencies in Assam, with a voter turnout of 70.35 per cent.
The voting, which started at 7 a.m. continued till 3 p.m, will decide the fate of 596 candidates including 449 men and 47 women.
Among the prominent candidates whose fate would be decided in this phase include Revenue Minister Bhumidhar Barman from Borkhetry, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma from Jalukbari, Tourism and Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain from Samaguri, Education Minister Gautam Bora from Batadraba, Social Welfare Minister Akon Bora from Dispur.
Former Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) President Chandramohan Patowary, former Speaker Pulakesh Barua, former AGP ministers Thaneswar Boro, Rekha Rani Das Barua, Atul Bora and Girin Barua along with all eleven sitting MLAs of BPF are also in the fray. Elaborate security arrangements were made to ensure free and fair polls
Of 12,589 polling stations, 2033 were identified as hyper-sensitive, 4175 as sensitive and 475 as vulnerable.
The election results will be declared on May 13.
 
Women, first time voters turnout in large numbers
 
Guwahati, April 11 (PTI): First time voters and women today turned out in large numbers to exercise their franchise during the second and last phase polls in 64 assembly seats in 14 districts of Assam. Women queued up since early morning outside polling booths both in rural and urban areas, election commission sources here said.
75-year old Hironmoyee Devi of Guwahati (East) constituency said she had been voting in all the past elections, even when insurgents issued poll boycott calls. Women in the four districts under the Bodoland Territorial Council outnumbered men in many polling stations, they said. "We are aware of our rights and so we have come out to exercise it to elect a candidate of our own choice," 40-year-old Kokrajhar school teacher Rekha Brahma said. "I am very excited to vote for the first time and I and my friends came out early in the morning to vote," said 18-year-old college student Ankita Bhuyan.
"Decline in insurgency activities in the state along with no boycott threats and campaigns initiated by the Election Commission urging voters to vote have helped in increasing the voter turnout, particularly among women and students," said Babita Saikia, a government employee. The number of women contestants in the second phase poll was higher than the first phase with 47 candidates in fray. Altogether 85 women contested in both phases and in the second phase of polls six sitting MLAs and Agriculture Minister Pramila Rani Brahma were renominated by their respective parties.
 
PM takes postal ballot route for Assam elections

Guwahati, April 11 (AGENCIES):
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday cast his vote through a postal ballot in the second and final phase of assembly polls in Assam. His absence disappointed voters at the Dispur Government Higher Secondary School where he has voted in the past. Mamohan Singh is a voter in the Dispur assembly seat in which Akon Bora is the Congress party’s candidate.
The prime minister is a Rajya Sabha MP from Assam since 1991 and has a rented accommodation near the state secretariat in Guwahati that is shown as his home address in the records. An election official said Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur cast their votes through postal ballots as the prime minister, who embarks on a five-day visit to China and Kazakhstan Tuesday, had other engagements.
‘We thought the prime minister would come to cast his vote. We were a little disappointed that he did not turn up physically, but happy to know he exercised his franchise,’ said M. Das, a voter in the Dispur assembly seat. During earlier elections, Manmohan Singh had lined up along with other voters and cast his ballot at the the Dispur Government Higher Secondary School.