Guwahati: A voter turnout of 43.5 percent was recorded till 1 pm in the bypoll to Dhemaji Assembly constituency in Assam on Sunday.
Technical faults were reported in some of the polling booths and eight EVMs and 28 Voters Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines had to be replaced till noon.
In one booth in Dhemaji constituency, polling began three hours late due to malfunctioning of the EVM. "During mock polling, the EVM testing was done and it was found to be perfect. But when actual polling was about to begin, some issues came up with the machine, so we could not start the voting in a booth at Barabhuyan LP School in Bordoloni " Dhemaji LAC Returning Officer, Roshni Aparanji Korati, told PTI.
The election department decided to replace the EVM, Korati, who is also the Deputy Commissioner of Dhemaji district, said. "After that, polling started at around 10 am. It is now going on smoothly," she added.
When asked if the polling timing would be extended by three hours beyond 4 PM in that booth, the Returning Officer said it will depend on the report and request of the Presiding Officer of the booth.
A total of five candidates are in the fray with the main contest likely to take place between BJP's Ranoj Pegu and Congress' Babul Sonowal.
The other three candidates are CPI(M)'s Jadu Hazarika, SUCI(C)'s Hem Kanta Miri and Independent Rajkumar Doley.
The bypoll is held in 273 booths and authorities have earmarked 20 as very sensitive polling stations and 141 as sensitive.
The constituency has a total of 2,19,751 voters, of which 1,12,510 are male and 1,07,241 are females. The bypoll was necessitated following the election of BJP MLA Pradan Baruah as MP from Lakhimpur Lok Sabha seat after Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal vacated his Parliamentary seat.
Updated Date: Apr 09, 2017 14:29 PM