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In bitterly contested election, worries over voter turnout

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  4 April 2016 12:00 AM GMT

By Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, April 3: Statistics indicate that the urban ‘elite’ voters in Assam have always been finding little reason to cast votes in elections. In contrast, voters in rural Assam, mostly the minority domited constituencies, have always prized their vote.

In the last assembly elections, Guwahati East, said to be a hub of the State’s elite, had recorded the lowest turn-out among all constituencies in the State. A mere 56.44 per cent had exercised their franchise in the last elections.

In contrast, people had come out in large numbers in minority-domited constituencies like Mankachar (90.43 per cent turnout), South Salmara (86.68) and Golockganj (86.66).

In 2011, while the State’s overall turnout was 76.05 percent, in Dhubri district it was as high as 85.61. In districts like Jorhat (68.05) and Kamrup metropolitan (64.69), a good chunk of the people was detached from the electoral process.

Even in the last Lok Sabha elections, polling was high in the minority-domited districts.

With the Election Commission of India and various organizations, including the influential AASU, appealing to the people to exercise their franchise, there are expectations that the people will not aliete themselves from the democratic process this time.

Assam had witnessed the highest turnout in the 1996 assembly elections – a healthy 78.92 per cent.

In the historic 1985 assembly elections, the turnout was 78.61.

The last Lok Sabha elections had also witnessed a high turnout of 80.21 per cent in the State.

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