An estimated 72.62 per cent of the electorate exercised their franchise in the by-election to four assembly seats in Assam on Monday, election office sources said.

The bypolls were held at Ratabari, Rangapara, Sonari and Jania.

The final poll percentage is, however, expected to be higher as queues of voters are seen waiting at the polling booths.

As per norm those who enter the polling booths before the scheduled end of voting are allowed to exercise their franchise.

The highest polling percentage of 78.21 per cent was recorded at Jania, followed by 77.50 per cent at Rangapara, 74.37 per cent at Karimganj and 66.40 per cent at Sonari, the sources said.

The four constituencies have a total electorate of 6,78,898 electors, including 3,27,803 females and one third gender voter who voted in 830 polling stations.

The bypolls to these constituencies were necessitated as sitting BJP MLAs and ministers Pallab Lochan Das(Rangapara) and Tapan Gogoi (Sonari) along with Deputy Speaker Kripanath Mallah (Ratabari) and Congress MLA Abdul Khaleque (Jania) have been elected to the Lok Sabha earlier this year.

Altogether 20 candidates are in the fray with Jania having the highest number of nine contestants, followed by five at Rangapara, four at Ratabari and two at Sonari.

There has been mainly a direct fight between the ruling BJP and opposition Congress at Ratabari, Sonari and Rangapara, while at Jania the contest was triangular with the addition of AIUDF.