Guwahati: Much like the masses, high-profile voters turned out early in the day to cast their votes during the first phase of Lok Sabha elections being held simultaneously with the assembly polls in the two Northeastern states of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim on Thursday.
Former Indian footballer Bhaichung Bhutia, who is also the working president of Hamro Sikkim Party (HSP), reached the polling station at 8 am to cast his vote in Sikkim.
Posting a picture on his Facebook page, Bhutia wrote, “I have given my vote, have you? I request everyone to exercise your right to vote and elect good representative for yourself.”
Brig (Dr) B D Mishra (Retd), the governor of Arunachal Pradesh, and his wife Neelam Mishra reached the polling booth in the Government Secondary School building, P-Sector, Itanagar early in the morning to cast their ballots.
Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma, who is also the president of National People’s Party (NPP), also reached the polling station early in the day to cast his vote.
While casting his vote at a polling station in Dibrugarh, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal urged the people of the state in large numbers.
Sikkim chief minister Pawan Kumar Chamling also exercised his franchise early in the morning on Thursday.
Senior Assam BJP leader and sitting MP from Kaliabor Parliamentary constituency Gaurav Gogoi also exercised his franchise on Thursday morning. On his Facebook page, the son of former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi wrote with an appeal to voters, “The sun is shining brightly. Come and cast your votes.”
Apart from Gaurav Gogoi, his high profile parents, Tarun Gogoi and Dolly Gogoi also casted their votes.
Meanwhile, sitting MP from Sikkim PD Rai was also seen casting his vote as soon as the voting process started on Thursday.
During the election campaign in Assam, the Tezpur Parliamentary constituency witnessed heated arguments between the candidates from BJP and its allies and the Congress. Congress candidate and former bureaucrat and IAS officer MGVK Bhanu and BJP candidate and Assam minister Pallav Lochan Das thronged their respective voting stations after worshiping in the historic Mahabhoirab Temple. They even shook hands in front of voters for a photo opportunity.
Urging people to cast their votes for him, Assam MP Rameswar Teli took to Facebook after casting his vote on Thursday morning:
Sitting MLA and Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) acting president Kunga Nima Lepcha also came out to cast his vote. Lepcha is contesting from two constituencies — Gangtok and Shyari — in Sikkim.
National People’s Party (NPP) nominee for Tura constituency and former Union minister Agatha Sangma also exercised her franchise and urged other voters to come out of their respective homes to vote on Thursday morning.
Nagaland deputy chief minister Y Patton took to Twitter to show a picture of him waiting for his turn to vote at his native village, Riphyim village, in Wokha district on Thursday morning.