Guwahati, Apr 4 (ANI): Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday cast his vote during the first phase of the state assembly polls in Jorhat town and expressed confidence the Congress victory.
Accompanied by his wife Dolly and son Gaurav, Gogoi exercised his franchise at Debicharan Barooah Girls High School polling station here.
"We will form the government on our own this time. Our alliance with the BPF (Bodoland Peoples Front) is also there", he said in response to a question whether Congress would form government in alliance with BPF.
Meanwhile, an estimated 39 per cent of the electorate cast their votes till noon.
According to the election office, the highest percentage was reported from constituencies in Karimganj, Jorhat and Haflong Districts ranging from between 35 to 40 per cent. Tinsukia recorded the 11 per cent polling.
Voters boycotted polling in ten polling stations under the Haflong police station.
The Indigenous Peoples Forum, an umbrella organisation of Hmar, Kuki and Zeme Naga tribes, boycotted the polls demanding bifurcation of North Cachar Hills district into two autonomous hills districts.
Earlier, there were reports of malfunctioning of electronic voting machines in some constituencies, which were immediately replaced, and voting continued uninterrupted
The voting, which started at 7 a.m. will continue till 3 p.m.
Four hundred and eighty five candidates, including 38 women, are in the fray for this phase. Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have fielded candidates in all the 62 constituencies, while Asom Gana Parishad is contesting 51 constituencies.
There are 157 independent candidates in the fray for this phase.
Among the prominent Congress leaders whose fate would be decided on Monday are incumbent Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi from Titabor, Power Minister Pradyut Bordoloi (Margherita), Excise Minister Gautam Roy (Katlicherra), Culture Minister Bharat Narah (Dhakuakhana), Khor Sing Ingti (Howraghat) and Works Minister Ajanta Neog (Golaghat).
Prominent AGP leaders who are in the fray in the first phase are Brindabon Goswami (Tezpur), Pradip Hazarika (Amguri) and Padma Hazarika (Sootea).
Monday's polling will also determine the fate of BJP leaders Ranjit Dutta (Bihali), Ranjan Das (Karimganj North), Parimal Sukalabaidya (Dholai), Kamakhya Tasa (Margherita) and Prasanta Phukan (Dibrugarh).
Elaborate security arrangements have been made to ensure free and fair polls.
A total of 2,033 booths have been identified as hyper sensitive, 2,985 sensitive and 817 hamlets as vulnerable.
Altogether 346 companies of central paramilitary forces have been deployed. 65 to 75 per cent of polling stations will be covered by central paramilitary forces and the rest by police, micro-observers and video-cameras.
The second phase of elections will be held on April 11. Results are due on May 13. (ANI)