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Assam panchayat polls: State sees 65.5% voting in first phase; re-election ordered in 20 polling stations

Guwahati: Over 65 percent polling was recorded in the first phase of the panchayat election in Assam on Wednesday during which voters at several places complained of anomalies in ballot papers and the authorities have ordered repoll in around 20 polling stations.

One person, suspected to be mentally unstable, was killed in police firing when he allegedly attacked security personnel with a sharp weapon at a polling station in Golaghat district, police said. "Till (the closing time of) 3 pm, we have seen polling of 65.5 percent. But this figure will go up as long queues are still there at many booths. Some districts said polling is likely to continue till 10 pm," Assam State Election Commissioner (ASEC), HN Bora said. The ASEC is expecting that the voting percentage will rise by another 10 percentage points. The state witnessed 76.76 percent voting in the last panchayat elections in 2013.

 Assam panchayat polls: State sees 65.5% voting in first phase; re-election ordered in 20 polling stations

Representational image. AP

"There will be some repolls. We have got reports of some problems in ballot papers like a mismatch of symbols of candidates. At some booths, a large number of people are missing from voter lists. We have fixed repolling on 7 December and it will be around 20 booths," Bora told a press conference.

Though the final report has not been received yet, the Commission has already decided to hold repolling at some booths in Biswanath, Lakhimpur and Sivasagar districts. Complaints of mismatch in the candidate's name and the party in ballot papers came from Nagarbera area in Kamrup district and Tipaimukh in Tinsukia district, while incorrect names of contestants were also detected in ballot papers at Lachitgarh Gaon in Kamrup district, the sources said. Some contestants' names were also missing in ballot papers at Titabor in Jorhat district. Bora said some of the anomalies in ballot papers were settled locally with printing of fresh ballot papers to continue the voting process. People also expressed resentment at their names being missing from the voters' lists at Duliajan, Jalukbari, Pragjyotishpur and Amchang near Guwahati, Tatunbari in Gohpur area of Biswanath district.

The ASEC said it is also the responsibility of the voters to check if their names are there in the voters list before the hustings. The names of the voters for the elections were taken from the 2016 Assembly polls voters list with a supplementary one updated till 2017, he added. Bora said some minor untoward incidents were reported from several places, including that of people burning a few ballot papers at Hathipara in Nagaon district alleging poor quality of the papers.

Meanwhile, one person succumbed to his injuries suffered in police firing when he "attacked" security personnel with a sharp weapon at Habibul gaon polling station under Golaghat police station area at 7 am. The person, suspected to be mentally unstable, first beat up some voters standing in a queue and later attacked the security men who fired at him in self-defence, police said. The first phase polls was held in 16 districts to decide the political fate of 43,515 contestants for 15,899 posts in the three tiers of Panchayati Raj - Zilla Parishad, Anchalik Panchayat and Gaon Panchayat. Altogether 442 candidates of various parties have already been declared winners uncontested.

The second phase of polling will be held on 9 December, when fates of 35,056 candidates will be decided for 10,909 posts by 64,21,518 voters through 9,428 polling booths in 13 districts. The counting for both the phases will take place on 12 December.

Your guide to the latest election news, analysis, commentary, live updates and schedule for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on firstpost.com/elections. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram or like our Facebook page for updates from all 543 constituencies for the upcoming general elections.

Updated Date: Dec 06, 2018 09:10:30 IST

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