Nagaland

#AssamPolls: 78% voting recorded in the first phase

Voting for the first phase of the Assam Assembly polls ended peacefully with more than 78% votes registered till 5 pm on Monday. The election commission has suggested that the voting count will increase to 80% as reports from certain interior areas are yet to be compiled in the main database.

The first phase of polls for the Assam Assembly, covering 65 constituencies, witnessed long queues as voting began at 7 in the morning. Enthusiastic voters – men, women, youths, first-time voters, senior citizens and people from all sections of the society – stood in long queues for hours to exercise their franchise.

Reports of malfunctioning in Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) came from 7 polling stations where the device was replaced immediately without any interruption in the voting process.

Chabua LAC had reported the highest turnout of 85.19 per cent at 5 pm, while the lowest turnout of 67 per cent was reported from Sarupathar LAC.

Here’s a glimpse of the first phase of the voting.

The fate of many prominent candidates, including Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Sarbananda Sonowal, AGP chief Atul Bora, Speaker Pranab Gogoi, ministers Gautam Roy, Ajanta Neog, Pranati Phukan, among others, were sealed in the EVMs.

The 65 LACs which went to the polls today were spread across Upper Assam, North Bank, Hill districts and Barak Valley.

A total of 95,11,732 electors were eligible to exercise their franchise in the first phase. Among them, 49,16,015 were male voters and 45,95,712 were female voters. A total of 539 candidates were in the fray for the 65 LACs. There were 43 female candidates.

There were 187 candidates from recognised political parties, including 52 from BJP, 65 from Congress, nine from NCP, 10 from CPI, 10 from CPM, 11 from AGP, 27 from AIUDF and three from BPF.

Padmanav Bordoloi Nominated for GIMA Award

Guwahati boy Padmanav Bordoloi has been nominated for Global Indian Music Academy (GIMA) Award 2016. GIMA is one of India’s biggest Music Academy Awards and Padmanav has been nominated in the Best Music Debut Non-Film segment for his first ever Hindi composition ‘Teri Jo Baatein Hain’.

Incidentally, Padmanav is the second male singer from Assam to be nominated for this coveted title. Angaraag Papon Mahanta did Assam proud by winning the GIMA Award 2015 in the Best Pop Album Segment for ‘Coke Studio Season 3’ and GIMA Awards 2012 in the Best Pop Album Segment for ‘The Story So Far’.

Padmanav, who was the first Assamese to become a finalist in Indian Idol 2007, and later went on to become a finalist in SaReGaMaPa 2013, is a powerhouse of talent; a singer, performer, songwriter, music composer and an anchor, that’s how diversely talented Padmanav Bordoloi is. ‘Teri Jo Baatein Hain’, which has earned Padmanav the nomination for GIMA Award, is the first Hindi non-film song composed by an Assamese singer to be shot in an abroad location.

Here’s the song:

One of the few male singers from Assam to sing in Bollywood films, Padmanav was also awarded the Young Achievers Award in 2008. Trained in Hindustani classical and Western classical music, Padmanav is a perfect blend of fusion voice and music. On being nominated for the award, Padmanav says, “It is a huge honour for me to be nominated for GIMA Award 2016, which is the biggest academy award in the field of music. Recognitions as these encourage artistes like us to work even harder and to deliver even better music to our fans.”

Padmanav is currently working on his next music album Dihing Disang Dimoru, a Bihu Xuriya and folk Fusion Video album, which has already won accolades from music lovers. Here’s a video from the album:

 

#AssamPolls: Focus on social media as phase 1 campaign ends

It’s all on the voters now. Campaigning for the first phase of the Assam Assembly polls to be held across 65 Assembly constituencies in the Upper Assam and Barak Valley belt concluded at 5 pm on Saturday. The 65 constituencies will poll on April 4 while the second and last phase of polls comprising 61 constituencies will be on April 11.

The campaign ended on a high note for all the political parties as they roped in top campaigners to woo the voters. With battlelines drawn, the focus has now shifted to door-to-door campaigning and the social media which has been used extensively by the political parties.

Putting out a video message of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP Assam Pradesh Facebook page says, “BJP is the only party which can fulfill the aspirations of the people of Assam. It is going to bring the development for which people of Assam have been waiting since Independence. We need ‪#‎BJP4Assam.”

For Congress, the war-room boys are leaving no stone unturned either. Posting content for youth consumption, the Assam Pradesh Youth Congress Facebook page has been posting interesting Memes targeting the BJP, video bytes of various party leaders and also the theme song for the campaign – a peppy number by Dikshu & Kalpana Patowary. The theme song has been viewed more than 14,000 times in past 12 hours. The video, interestingly, carries a montage of the achievements of the Congress government in the past 15 years of rule in the state. Among the main highlights are roads, sports infrastructure, small-scale industries, petrochemicals, education and financial institutions. The interestingly crafted video gives due credit to the various ethnic groups as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4M_wsJKcGbM

Here’s the BJP’s campaign song sung by Zubeen Garg.

The regional parties seem lacking in the social media front as they hardly exist in the new media bandwagon. Maulana Badruddin Ajmal’s All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) has a public group with around 20,000 members on Facebook but there is no official line of communication therein. The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), which is contesting the elections in partnership with the BJP, also has limited presence.

Former Congress minister and current BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma appears much ahead in terms of social media use. The former health and education minister has around 55,000 followers on Twitter while his verified Facebook page has over 1.62 lakh likes. Sarma is using his social media accounts to share his political views, updates from the campaign trail and occasional discussions and attacks on the Congress government.

Chief minister Tarun Gogoi, on the other hand, has seen rapid rise in online reputation as the 79-year-old is seen growing popularity amongst the social media users. Gogoi is doing Hangout sessions and has an interactive website besides being present on the ‘traditional’ Facebook and Twitter.

Gogoi is using Twitter to reach his 30,000 followers with his political views and updates on the election process. The social media accounts are widely used to publicize the ‘15-years of development’ message which is the core campaign message for the party. But, his much publicized website is “under construction” since almost a month now.

With a day to go for polls in more than half of the total Assembly seats, it will be interesting to note where the swing is and in the battle of votes, who wins the chair. Can Sarbananda Sonowal break the Tarun Gogoi spell? Or, will the 79-year-old have the last laugh? That is also an important matter!