Despite the frenzy outside banks and ATMs for collecting cash, good turnout was seen at the polling booths in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh in the by-polls held today. While around 60 percent voting took place in Lakhimpur and Baithalangso in Assam, the turnout was as high as 72 percent in Hayuliang in Arunachal Pradesh.
By-poll in Assam
Polling began this morning amidst tight security. The voting was initially slow with few voters trickling in the early hours, but picked up after 10 AM. There was no report of any untoward incident so far though a strict vigil is being maintained in different segments of both the constituencies.
The by-election in Lakhimpur constituency was necessitated as Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal vacated the seat following his election in May to the State Assembly from Majuli (ST) constituency which falls under this Lok Sabha seat. In Baithalangso, it was necessitated as sitting Congress MLA Man Singh Rongpi left the party to join BJP in July last.
There are five candidates in fray in Lakhimpur– Amiya Kumar Handique (CPI-M), Pradan Baruah (BJP), Hema Hari Prasanna Pegu (Cong), Hem Kanta Miri (SUCI-Communist) and Dilip Moran (Independent) and their fate will be decided by an electorate of 15,11,110 people. There are altogether 1,954 polling stations spread across the Assembly constituencies of Majuli (ST), Naoboicha, Lakhimpur, Dhakuakhana (ST), Dhemaji (ST), Jonai (ST), Chabua, Doomdooma and Sadiya.
In Baithalangso (ST) constituency in West Karbi Anglong district, there are three contestants in fray– Mansing Rongpi (BJP), Ruponsing Ronghang (Cong) and Rajen Timung (Independent) and their fate will be decided by an electorate of 1,80,203 voters in 246 polling stations.
By-poll in Arunachal Pradesh
An estimated 72 per cent electorate exercised their franchise today in the by-election to Hayuliang constituency in the remote Anjaw district, bordering China, of Arunachal Pradesh, amid a massive security blanket.
The polling, which began at 7 am, was peaceful without any incident of violence reported, Deputy Chief Electoral Officer D J Bhattacharjee said. However, the polling percentage is likely to go high as reports from several polling booths in remote areas are yet to pour in, Bhattacharjee said.
It is for the first time in the history of the state that both the contesting candidates including district electoral officer, returning officer and the general observers deputed by the Election Commission, are all women. A polling station, exclusively for women, and a model polling station were also set up in the constituency.