Amid heavy security and strict Covid protocols, by-elections to nine assembly seats in three northeastern states - Assam, Meghalaya, and Mizoram - on Saturday saw an average 78.51 per cent turnout, officials said.
Election officials said that no untoward incident was reported from anywhere.
Strict Covid protocols were followed in all polling stations, with a Covid Nodal Officer in each and provisions of sanitisers, thermal scanning and social distancing.
The highest turnout of 81.29 per cent was recorded in Mizoram, followed by Meghalaya, with 80.86 per cent, and 73.38 per cent in Assam.
In Guwahati, Assam's Chief Electoral Officer Nitin Khade, who along with other officials, monitored the polling process through webcasting, said that no incident occurred in any of the five assembly constituencies.
Nearly eight lakh voters, including 3,93,078 women, were eligible to decide the fate of 31 candidates in Mariani, Thowra, Bhabanipur, Gossaigaon and Tamulpur Assembly seats.
The BJP has fielded turncoat candidates in three seats -- Rupjyoti Kurmi in Mariani and Sushanta Borgohain in Thowra (both former Congress), and Phanidhar Talukdar (former All India United Democratic Front) in Bhabanipur. Its ally United People's Party Liberal (UPPL) had put up Jiron Basumatary in Gossaigaon and Jolen Daimary in Tamulpur.
The Congress, which fielded candidates in all five seats, has been trying hard to at least retain the Thowra and Mariani seats.
The AIUDF fielded candidates in Bhabanipur and Gossaigaon, while the Akhil Gogoi-led Raijor Dal contested in Thowra and Mariani and the Hagrama Mahilary-led Bodoland People's Front Gossaigaon.
The AIUDF and the BPF were allies of the Congress-led 10-party 'Mahajot' (grand alliance) in the Assembly polls held in March-April.
The by-elections were necessitated due to the Covid-related deaths of two sitting MLAs belonging to the UPPL and the BPF while the Congress and AIUDF legislators joined the BJP after quitting their Assembly membership.
In Shillong, Meghalaya Chief Electoral Officer F. R. Kharkongor told IANS that no incident was reported from any of the three Assembly segments falling in two districts -- the East Khasi Hills and West Garo Hills.
The electorate of 1,02,695, with women, at 53,106, forming a majority, decided the electoral fate of 13 candidates.
The National People's Party (NPP) headed by Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma and the main opposition Congress fielded candidates in all three seats.
The BJP, which is part of the NPP-dominated Meghalaya Democratic Alliance, fielded a candidate in Rajabala, and the United Democratic Party, another constituent of the MDA, fielded a candidate in Mawphlang, leading to a possible division of votes among the ruling coalition.
The bypolls were necessitated following the death of sitting MLAs -- David A. Nongrum (Congress, Mawryngkneng), Azad Zaman (UDP, Rajabala) and Syntar Klas Sunn (Independent, Mawphlang).
In Mizoram, voting for the bypoll to the Tuirial Assembly constituency in Kolasib district bordering Assam was held following the death of sitting Legislator, Andrew H. Thangliana of the Zoram People's Movement.
Joint Chief Electoral Officer, David L. Pachuau said the electorate comprised 18,582 voters, including 9,095 women.
Four candidates were in the fray - the ruling Mizo National Front's K. Laldawngliana, the ZPM's Laltlanmawia, the Congress' Chalrosanga Ralte, and the BJP's K. Laldinthara.
Counting of votes will take place on November 2.