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PIX: Moderate to high turnout in 5th phase of LS polls

Last updated on: April 17, 2014 23:15 IST

Moderate to high turnout in 5th phase of LS polls

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Moderate to high turnout on Thursday marked the polling in the fifth and biggest round of Lok Sabha elections covering 121 seats across 12 states amidst Maoist violence in Jharkhand where rebels injured four CRPF jawans, blew up a railway track and exploded bombs.

The highest turnout of 78.89 per cent was in the four constituencies in West Bengal, which has a total of 39 seats, while the lowest was recorded in Madhya Pradesh at 54 per cent.

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Moderate to high turnout in 5th phase of LS polls

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In the key battleground state of Karnataka, where polling was held in the all the 28 seats on Thursday, the voting percentage was 66 per cent and in the 11 seats of Uttar Pradesh, electorally the most important state, the turnout was 62.52 per cent.

A good show for Congress in Karnataka could help it to check BJP's perceived surge nationally. In the previous Lok Sabha poll in the state, BJP had won 18 seats in the state but is struggling this time.

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Moderate to high turnout in 5th phase of LS polls

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Congress had defeated BJP in last year’s state assembly polls, bringing to an end the saffron party’s only power centre in southern India.

Bangalore watched one of the keenly contested seats in the state where Congress party candidate Nandan Nilekani is pitted against BJP veteran Ananth Kumar.

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Polling in another important, Maharashtra, which has a total of 48 seats, 19 constituencies which went to poll on Thursday saw a turnout of 61.7 per cent.

Thursday's polling decided the fate of 358 candidates, including Union Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and former chief minister Ashok Chavan (both Congress) and senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde in Maharashtra.

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Moderate to high turnout in 5th phase of LS polls

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The fifth phase of polling was the largest single-day in the nine-phased election exercise and electoral fates of 1,769 candidates, including Nandan Nilekani (Cong), Maneka Gandhi, former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda (JD-S), Union Ministers Veerappa Moily (Cong) and Srikant Jena, Supriya Sule and Lalu Prasad's eldest daughter Misa Bharti, were decided.

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Moderate to high turnout in 5th phase of LS polls

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Viewed as a high stakes day by both BJP and its allies, which hold 46 seats and Congress and its partners having 43 seats, today's polling may decide which party will lead the race to form the next government.

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Moderate to high turnout in 5th phase of LS polls

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Polling in Uttar Pradesh decided the fate of 150 candidates, including Maneka Gandhi, Santosh Gangwar, Saleem Sherwani and Begum Noor Bano.

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Moderate to high turnout in 5th phase of LS polls

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West Bengal holds the key to Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee's bid to position herself as a key player in government-formation at the Centre in the event of a fractured mandate.

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Over 54 per cent polling was registered in seven Lok Sabha seats in Bihar, another electorally key state, today while 62 percent turnout was reported in six constituencies in adjacent Jharkhand despite Maoists' boycott call.

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With completion of polling in the fifth phase, the exercise crossed the half way mark in the nine-phased elections to 543-member Lok Sabha.

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Polling has already been completed in 111 seats in the earlier four phases in which voter turnout in most states has been higher than in 2009.

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Around 65 per cent voter turnout was  recorded in three Naxal-hit Lok Sabha constituencies of Chhattisgarh where Maoists targeted a polling team but there was no casualty.

Barring the one Naxal-related incident, polling was by and large peaceful in the State which completed the second phase of voting that decided the fate of Congress leader Ajit Jogi and CM Raman Singh's son Abhishek (BJP) among others.

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar

Around 68 percent of the electorate in the Udhampur constituency of Jammu and Kashmir cast their votes in Thursday’s election. The poll percentage is 24 percent more than the previous Lok Sabha election.

Disclosing this at a press conference, the chief electoral officer, Umang Narula said 64.48 percent votes were cast in Kishtwar, 68.41 percent in Doda, 63.22 percent in Ramban, 74.84 percent in Reasi, 67.92 percent in Udhampur, 70.43 percent in Kathua districts and figures of exact polling are being received from various other far flung areas of these districts, which would add to the final poll percentage tally.

He said the polling was held in a peaceful atmosphere and so far no untoward incident was reported from any part of the constituency. “In order to ensure that the polling is done in various inaccessible areas of the hilly districts, 45 helicopter sorties were done and 545 poll staff personnel were airlifted.”

Narula further said that 1,272 vehicles were also put in use for transportation of polling personnel and material.

He said that the constituency was spread over large geographical area covering six districts for which as many as 2051 polling stations at 1798 locations were set up, which included 198 critical/hypersensitive ones.

“In order to improve the voting experience of the voters 53 model polling stations were established with innovative facilities.”

He said 13 candidates were in the fray for the constituency which comprised 14,68,886 number of electors including 6,81,206 female and 7,87,680 male voters.

The main contest in the constituency is between the Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and BJP candidate Jitender Singh.


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