NE India Final Phase Lok Sabha Polling Sees 81.61% Voter Turnout

Northeast India showed strong voter participation in the final phase of polling for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, defying trends seen across other parts of the country.

While voter turnout decreased in many regions during the last three phases of polling, Assam and the broader northeastern region recorded high voter engagement.

Over 80% of the electorate turned out in Assam’s four constituencies of Guwahati, Barpeta, Dhubri, and Kokrajhar on 7 May.

Impressive Voting Across Northeast

Known for political challenges and separatist sentiments, the Northeast region demonstrated national solidarity with enthusiastic participation in the democratic process. Voters in this region were electing 25 members to the 18th Lok Sabha, aligning their voting rates well above the national average in all phases.

Assam, which conducted its final phase on 7 May, recorded an 81.61% turnout. This was significantly higher than the national average of 64.4% reported by the Election Commission of India (ECI). Other northeastern states, including Tripura, Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh, also registered notable turnout rates ranging from 67% to over 80%.

BJP and Electoral Alliance Performance

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) contested all ten seats in Assam across the first two phases, nominating only one candidate in the final phase.

In the Guwahati constituency, the BJP chose Bijuli Kalita Medhi, while supporting alliance candidates in Barpeta, Dhubri, and Kokrajhar. Medhi faced a challenge from former BJP leader Mira Borthakur Goswami, now a Congress candidate.

In Barpeta, AGP’s Phani Bhusan Choudhury competed against Congress and CPM candidates, and Zabed Islam in Dhubri confronted rivals from Congress and the AIUDF. In Kokrajhar, the disqualification of incumbent MP Naba Kr Sarania turned the race into a three-way contest.

final phase Lok Sabha polling. Photo: Nava Thakuria.
Final phase Lok Sabha polling. Photo: Nava Thakuria.

Polling Challenges and Violence in Manipur

Despite ethnic conflicts between Meitei and Kuki communities, Manipur managed over 75% voter turnout after re-polling. Violence marred the election process here, the only northeastern state to experience such unrest. In contrast, Mizoram‘s peaceful polling only achieved a turnout just above 55%.

NDA Aims for Lok Sabha Majority

As the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance seeks to secure over 400 seats in the Lok Sabha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi remains hopeful about the party’s prospects. However, despite extensive awareness campaigns by various organizations and media outlets, mainland India’s voter turnout remains below expectations.

Nava Thakuria
Nava Thakuria is a Guwahati (Northeast India) based journalist, who contributes to NewsBlaze and various media outlets throughout the world.