Silchar: It was the great festival of democracy when voters of all hues in their varied and colourful attires lined up from early morning before the polling centres of urban and rural areas of Barak Valley to exercise their franchise. The polling in some booths started on the brisk note, some reported moderate turn out which subsequently picked up. Till the close of polling, on an average, 70% voters’ turn up was reported for the polling centres under Silchar and Karimganj parliamentary constituencies. By and large, the voting was peaceful excepting some minor incidents.
The district administration has adopted various novel methods like street performances, blaring out theme song, bike rally among others to motivate voters and make them poll bound. Great enthusiasm was seen among the tea tribe voters of 104 tea estates who turned up in large number. They are one of the deciding factors to determine the fate of a candidate in the fray. Some interesting and bizarre things have come to light during the voting.
The polling staff of Ramkrishna Vidyamandir centre of this town took the unprecedented decision to suspend voting for half an hour from 2.30 PM for taking lunch despite protests from the voters. On receiving information, Laya Madduri, District Returning Officer, sent a magistrate to the booth to investigate. Four generation of members of a family were seen standing in queue to cast their votes at Public Higher Secondary School at Bilpar here. A case of false voting was reported from the 252 Ambicapore L P School of Meherpur near this town. Tender vote was cast by the genuine voter.
Voting was held up for an hour due to glitch in the functioning of EVM machine at Silchar Polytechnic centre. Large scale rigging was reported from 467 Baithia Primary School of Karimganj where one person in the presence of polling staff and security personnel voted for 15 times. In yet another incident, tension prevailed at Lakhishahar centre of Hailakandi and voting held up when BJP accused AIUDF of rigging and the supporters of both the parties came head on and heckled one another. The security men intervened and the situation was brought under control and the polling resumed soon. Leaving aside these incidents, the attraction of poll arrangement was 10 all women polling booths in this town which the ECI termed as pink polling booths Besides, some model booths with special arrangements welcomed the voters with red roses.
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