"The elections in Assam will be held in three phases. We have 1.87 crore people registered in the electoral rolls who can exercise their voting rights to elect 14 representatives," Assam Chief Electoral Officer Vijayendra told reporters in Guwahati. (Agencies)
The number of voters this year constitute 57.25 percent of Assam's total population and it has gone up by 13 lakh from 1.74 crore voters in last Lok Sabha elections in 2009, he said.
"We published the latest electoral rolls in January this year and the number has increased by 6.6 lakh from the last rolls in January 2013," the CEO said.
When asked about the first time voters, Vijayendra said that 4.5 lakh youngsters in the age group of 18-19 years would vote for the first time in the Lok Sabha elections.
Talking about the 'D' (doubtful/disputed/dubious) voters, the CEO said that the number stands at around 1.42 lakh in the state.
On Election photo identity card (EPIC), he said that Assam will have its first election with such identification system although it already exists in other parts of the country.
On being asked about much could be the total expenditure of the three-phase elections in Assam, Vijayendra said, "It is estimated to be around Rs 82 crore. During the last Assembly elections in Assam in 2011, we had spent around Rs 79 crore."
Speaking about the polling stations, he said that the elections would be held at 24,275 polling stations across the state, which is an increase of 28.93 percent from 18,828 booths in 2009 Lok Sabha elections.
Out of these, 7,200 polling stations have been identified as ‘critical’, he said, adding, "The police are working on other categories like sensitive and hyper sensitive polling booths.”
The entire exercise this time would involve around 1.25 lakh people in the state as compared to one lakh people in 2009.
The Lok Sabha elections for 14 seats in Assam would be held on April 7, 12 and 24, while counting will take place along with the entire country on May 16.
As per the schedule by the Election Commission of India, five constituencies will go for polling in the first phase, while it will be three and six constituencies respectively during the second and third phases of polling in the state.
Tezpur, Kaliabor, Jorhat, Dibrugarh and Lakhimpur constituencies would go for polling in the first phase.
Karimganj, Silchar and Autonomous Hill District in second phase, while the elections for the prestigious Guwahati seat along with Dhubri, Kokrajhar, Barpeta, Mangaldai and Nagaon seats would be held in the last phase.
On being asked about his area of concern in conducting a free and fair election in Assam, Vijayendra said, "The issues are - there should not be any intimidation to any section of the society and there should not be any money power to influence the voters."
The Election Commission ‘will take all care’ by deploying ‘maximum number of forces and observers’ to have fair elections in Assam, he added.
He, however, declined to inform how many security personnel or observers would be deployed in Assam during the polling period.
"The elections in Assam will be held in three phases. We have 1.87 crore people registered in the electoral rolls who can exercise their voting rights to elect 14 representatives," Assam Chief Electoral Officer Vijayendra told reporters in Guwahati.