Guwahati, The polling percentage crossed 70 per cent at the close of scheduled voting time in third and final phase Lok Sabha election in Assam, with the final figure expected to increase as voters continued to stand in long queues in front of the polling stations at the end of the stipulated time.
Till 1700 hours, 71.47% polling was registered, official sources said, adding that since all voters standing in queue or entering the polling station premise before closing time are allowed to vote, the final voting percentage will increase.
Dhubri constituency has so far recorded the highest turnout with 78.94%, followed by Barpeta with 72.47%, Kokrajhar 70.31% and Guwahati 65.28%.In Dhubri, a polling officer was reportedly removed from duty following allegations of malpractice.
Malfunction of EVMs was reported from several places and officials rushed to fix the glitches, even as there was delay in start of polling or polling was interrupted in many places due to it.
A 60-year-old woman, suffering from hyper-tension, collapsed and died at a polling station in Ronjuli in Goalpara district. She was rushed to a local hospital, where she was pronounced brought dead.
No incident of violence has been reported from any part so far.As many as 200 companies of security personnel have been deployed for the third phase, with minimum one constable in every polling station.
The fate of 54 candidates has been sealed in the EVMs with polling conducted in 9577 polling stations, including 147 all-women polling stations, 125 model polling stations and 524 remote polling stations.
Former PM Dr Manmohan Singh and his wife Gurcharan Kaur were among the voters in the third phase as the couple flew in from New Delhi to cast their vote under Guwahati Lok Sabha seat.
Among the candidates were two sitting MPs, a state Cabinet minister and an incumbent MLA.There were nine women contenders, the highest number of women candidates in fray in a single phase in the three-phased polls in the state.
The number of polling personnel deployed for the final phase was 38,308, along with 436 micro observers, five general observers, four expenditure observers and three police observers.
Altogether 125 Flying Squad Teams, 112 Static Surveillance Teams and 83 Video Surveillance Teams were assigned for the phase.
The first two phases of voting for five constituencies each on April 11 and April 18 had recorded 78% and 81% polling respectively.