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The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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74% voting in Algapur bypoll

Silchar, Feb. 24: Polling in the byelection for the Algapur Assembly constituency under Hailakandi district passed off peacefully today with around 74 per cent turnout.

According to the Hailakandi superintendent of police, Brajendrajit Singh, around 63 per cent polling was recorded till 4pm and the figure increased after polling officers returned from far-flung booths. Long queues were seen in many booths much before polling got under way at 7am. Observers said in spite of 13 contestants in the fray, the main tussle would be between Congress’s Mandira Roy, 55, wife of public health engineering minister Goutam Roy and AIUDF’s Mehebubul Hasan Laskar, a lawyer in his mid-thirties.

Altogether 170 polling booths were set up in the constituency, out of which 45 were in Tapang in the adjoining Cachar district. CCTV cameras were installed in at least 25 polling booths, which were considered hyper sensitive by the state election commission.

However, the only jarring note ahead of the poll was the arrest of Goutam Roy’s son Rahul for flouting poll rules. Rahul was found moving in a convoy of three cars last night near Chandipur tea estate and taken to Algapur police station, where during a search in the convoy cars, Rs 4,000 cash was recovered.

He was released around 10 last night, the police said. Rahul has been booked under Section 180 of Representation of the People’s Act.

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