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Andaman and Nicobar Islands records 45.4 per cent polling till 3 pm

Port Blair: An estimated 45.48 per cent of the total 3,15,148 voters in Andaman and Nicobar Islands have exercised their franchise till 3 pm on Friday for the lone Lok Sabha seat in the union territory, an official said.

Chief Electoral Officer B S Jaglan said so far voting is going on peacefully.

"So far the voting is going on peacefully. There were some minor EVM glitches but it was addressed immediately. It did not hamper the poll process," the CEO told PTI.

Seven members of the Shompen tribe, a particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTGs) of the Great Nicobar Islands on Friday exercised their voting rights for the first time, an official said.

The CEO said, "It’s good to see that primitive tribes are also exercising their voting rights. Every ballot is a testament to unity and participation. So far the voting is going on peacefully in the entire archipelago.

"Other two primitive tribes like Onge and Great Andamanese too exercised their voting rights like in 2019 Lok Sabha election but seven Shompen did it for the first time out of 98 Shompen voters," the CEO said.

A total of 12 candidates, including two women and five independents are in the fray for the lone Lok Sabha seat. However, the contest is mainly between the Congress sitting MP Kuldeep Rai Sharma and BJP's Bishnu Pada Ray.

The total number of voters in the Union Territory (UT) is 3,15148, which includes 1,64,012 male, 1,51,132 female and four voters in third gender category. The voters also include 39 of Great Nicobarese tribe of Strait Islands, 68 of the Onge tribe at Hut Bay and 98 of the Shompen tribe of Great Nicobar Island.

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