By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, April 11: The voters in the four Legislative Assembly Constituencies (LACs) in Guwahati have successfully wiped themselves off the can they have been carrying over the years. In almost every election, the voters of the metropolitan city carry the can that a large section in them shy away from casting their votes, an unhealthy sign for any democracy.
The word ‘enthusiasts’ is too small to describe what the voters of the four LACs in the city were today. Voting in all the polling stations started sharp at 7 am, but the queues of voters were seen sking through far away in main roads outside campuses of polling stations. It took no less than two-and-a-half hours for the voters, who reached their respective poll stations at 6.40 am, to cast their votes. The enthusiast voters of the city today proved the saying ‘early bird catches the worm’ wrong as most of the voters thronged their respective polling stations in large numbers early in the morning only to stand in longue queues. The crowd of voters was a bit less at noon but the rush was even more in the afternoon hours.
However, technical sgs relating to EVMs did delay the polling to an extent in some polling stations in the city. However, officials from the Election Commission were prompt enough to replace them with new ones.
The turnout in the four LACs in the city has set a new record besides wiping off the can they have been carrying that a large section of them shy away from voting. According to reports received, Jalukbari LAC scripted a record high turnout of 85.26 per cent. It was followed by West Guwahati LAC with a turnout of 80.56 per cent, Dispur with 77.77 per cent and Guwahati East with 73 per cent. In the 2011 Assembly election, the voter turnout in Jalukbari LAC was 77.47 per cent. It was followed by Guwahati West with 65.88 per cent, Dispur with 62.91 per cent and Guwahati East with 56.44 per cent. There has been a huge jump in the turnout of voters in Guwahati East LAC in the city this year.
The Kamrup(M) district administration’s efforts to provide basic minimal assistance to the physically challenged voters were also appreciated overwhelmingly. Special assistance to elders and women by the volunteers was also talked highly. Medals to the voters also infused greater participation of voters. The Election passed off peacefully in the district. In order to encourage participation in the voting process, Kamrup (M) administration honoured the first five voters in each of its polling stations with a medal each.
Residents and voters of the metropolitan district participated in the election process wholeheartedly. Excellent participation of women and first time voters also voters also broke the record of urban apathy in the form of full participation. The voters were also all praise for the model polling stations in the district.
Chintu Baruah, a voter of Guwahati West LAC, said: “Reverse trends have been seen in this Assembly election. Poll campaign this time around was not as feverish as it had been in earlier elections. However, there was a significant change in the positive on the enthusiasm of voters. Heavy voter turnout is a glaring example of this. There has been a wave of change sweeping the State. However, what’s change? What kind of a change do the voters exactly want? I’m not sure how many of the voters can gauge what king of a change they exactly want.”
Boghiram Das, an elderly voter of Guwahati West, said: “All throughout my life I did cast votes. I’ll cast my vote today too. However, what profit will I get? Of course, the property of the elected representatives do increase manifold every year.”