Nava J Thakuria
Guwahati: The polling exercise for by-elections in nine assembly constituencies in Assam, Meghalaya, and Mizoram came to an end peacefully at 5 pm on Saturday. Five assembly constituencies in Assam witnessed nearly 70% polling, where Gossaigaon seat reported highest polling (76.71%) and Mariani recorded the lowest turnout (61.62 %) in the stipulated time.
Thowra seat recorded 75.07 %, where Bhabanipur reported 74 % and Tamulpur 62 % polling. Altogether 31 candidates representing different national and regional political parties as well as independents were in the fray, among whom 7,96,456 general electors got the opportunity to elect five legislators to the 126-member State legislative assembly.
State chief electoral officer Nitin Khade, while expressing happiness over the peaceful polling, informed a total of 5,410 polling personnel were engaged in the polling exercise where 1,869 ballot units, 1,844 control units along with 1,861 VVPATs were used. As a major push for conducting free and fair elections, live monitoring and webcasting was arranged by the authority.
Each and every polling station was sanitized prior to the event and the facility of thermal scanning, hand sanitizers, face-masks were made available. The electorates were ensured minimum facilities like drinking water, waiting shed, toilet, adequate arrangement for lighting, wheelchairs for needy persons, etc in all polling stations.
Meghalaya also reported impressive turnout of voters in the polling centers. Till 3 pm on Saturday, Rajabala seat in Garo Hills recorded 66% voting, where Mawphlang constituency witnessed 64.51% polling and Mawryngkneng 62.14% till the afternoon hours. However, by 7 pm the overall tally witnessed 78.97 % in Meghalaya while Mizoram witnessed 78.49 % respectively. Mizoram’ Kolasib district witnessed election in Turial assembly seat for four candidates in 27 polling stations.
The lone seat, the tenth besides Assam, Meghalaya and Mizoram in Nagaland’s Shamtorr-Chessor assembly under Tuensang district, candidate S Keoshu Yimchunger of National Democratic Progressive Party’s NDPP was declared winner unopposed.