Voting for first phase of BTC election passes peacefully; over 77% polling reported

Polling took place in the first phase of the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) election on Monday, with 77% of the eligible voters turning out. Polling started at 7:30 am and continued till 4:30 pm in 1,739 polling stations. In some stations, voters who had turned up at the polling stations cast their votes even after 4:30 pm.

A total of 130 candidates were in the fray in 21 constituencies in Udalguri and Baksa districts in the first phase. Voting for the other 19 constituencies in Kokrajhar and Chirang districts will take place on Thursday. “We recorded nearly 79% voting till evening. The figures are still being collected and the percentage might go up slightly. Polling was peaceful and there was no report of any law and order problem,” Ranjan Sarma, deputy commissioner of Baksa said.

While there are 11 constituencies in Baksa, 10 others are in Udalguri. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, polling officials were given face masks and sanitisers for themselves and also to offer voters who came to the polling stations without masks. Social distancing was also maintained during voting.

“We recorded 75.4% polling in our district, but the figures are still being collected. There was no major issue anywhere and voting took place smoothly,” said Prakash Ranjan Gharphalia, deputy commissioner of Udalguri. This is the first election being held in Assam since the Covid-19 pandemic started. The polls were scheduled to be held in April but had to be postponed because of the pandemic and all the four districts under BTC placed under Governor’s rule.

Assembly polls in Assam are due in March-April this year.

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