Voting begins in AssamApril 23rd, 2009 - 8:59 am ICT by IANS
Guwahati, April 23 (IANS) Voting for the second and final phase of parliamentary elections in 11 of the 14 constituencies in Assam began Thursday amid heavy security and sporadic rains, officials said.
An election official said there was fair amount of enthusiasm among voters as they arrived at the polling stations before voting began at 7 a.m.
“Voting has begun with people coming to exercise their franchise despite rains in some parts of the state,” the election official said.
Voting is being held in the parliamentary seats of Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Kaliabor, Nagaon, Tezpur, Lakhimpur, Guwahati, Mangaldoi, Barpeta, Dhubri, and Kokrajhar.
Earlier, elections in the first phase were held in the three parliamentary seats of Silchar, Karimganj, and Autonomous District April 16 with heavy polling recorded.
An estimated 14.73 million voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in 15,772 polling stations in the second phase elections with 121 candidates in the fray, including 11 women candidates.
The ruling Congress party is locked in a direct fight with the opposition combine of the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), while in at least two seats it would be a triangular contest with the Asom United Democratic Front (AUDF), a minority based party.
Heavy security arrangements have been made to ensure free and fair polling.
Polling ends at 4 p.m.
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Tags: agp, asom, assam, autonomous district, bharatiya janata party, bjp, congress party, constituencies, democratic front, election official, final phase, franchise, guwahati, heavy security, parliamentary elections, parliamentary seats, polling stations, second phase, security arrangements, triangular contest