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Phase 3: Over 63% polling amid clashes in Bengal

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Hemant Waje
Last updated on: May 07, 2024 23:29 IST
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More than 63 percent voter turnout was recorded on Tuesday in the third phase of Lok Sabha elections in 93 constituencies spread over 11 states and Union Territories with stray incidents of violence in West Bengal.

IMAGE: Women voters show their ink-marked fingers after casting their votes for the third phase of the Lok Sabha elections, in Bhopal on Tuesday, May 7, 2024. Photograph: ANI Photo

Assam recorded the highest turnout at 77.06 percent followed by Goa at 75.13 percent and West Bengal at 73.96 percent, while Uttar Pradesh witnessed the lowest at 57.34 percent, with Bihar at 58.16 percent, Gujarat at 57.62 percent and Maharashtra at 61.44 percent doing slightly better, according to the figures from the Election Commission at 10.40 pm.

The overall voting percentage was 63.53 percent. According to the EC, the figures are an "approximate trend" and are likely to rise as data is being collected.


While the official time for the voting to conclude is 6 pm, it can go beyond to enable voters who have come in the queue before the end of fixed polling hours to exercise their franchise.

Among other states and UTs, Chhattisgarh recorded 70.05 percent polling, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu 68.89 percent, Karnataka 69.65 percent, and Madhya Pradesh 66.05 percent, according to the EC.

As many as 17.24 crore people, including 8.39 crore females, were eligible to vote in the third phase and 1.85 lakh polling stations manned by 18.5 lakh officials had been set up.

With this, voting has been completed in 20 states/UTs and 282 Lok Sabha seats out of 543.

The overall voting percentage in the first and second phases was 66.14 percent and 66.71 percent respectively.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah were among those who exercised their franchise in Gujarat, where elections were held in 25 seats. While PM Modi cast his vote at a polling booth in Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency, Shah voted at a polling booth in Ahmedabad.

Shah (Gandhinagar) is among the bigwigs in the fray along with Union ministers Jyotiraditya Scindia (Guna), Mansukh Mandaviya (Porbandar), Parshottam Rupala (Rajkot), Pralhad Joshi (Dharwad) and SP Singh Baghel (Agra).

The stakes are high for the BJP in this round as it had won an overwhelming majority of these seats, including all in Gujarat, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, in the last election.

Both the BJP and the INDIA bloc claimed that they had the upper hand after the third phase.

"Across all the states and UTs, voters from all walks of life have placed their faith in the NDA and our development agenda. INDI Alliance is losing even more steam, thanks to their regressive economics and outdated votebank politics," Modi said on X.

The Congress claimed that the BJP has been wiped out in the south and reduced to half of its strength after the three phases

"It's very clear that for the BJP, it is South mein Saaf, North mein Half," Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said on X.

In Uttar Pradesh, where several members of Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav's family are contesting, party chief Akhilesh Yadav alleged that the BJP workers were trying to "loot booths" in Mainpuri and people from opposition parties were being detained in police stations.

Yadav cast his vote in Saifai (Etawah) in Mainpuri constituency where his wife and sitting MP Dimple Yadav is contesting.

Sporadic incidents of violence marred the polling in the four constituencies in West Bengal as Trinamool Congress, BJP and Congress-CPI-M workers clashed with each other in various parts of Murshidabad and Jangipur seats.
According to state election officials, Murshidabad registered the highest voter turnout of 76.49 percent followed by Maldaha Dakshin (73.68 percent), Maldaha Uttar (73.30), and Jangipur (72.29).

The TMC, BJP, and the Congress-CPI(M) alliance lodged separate complaints related to poll violence, voter intimidation, and assaults on poll agents.

The EC received 182 complaints by 9 am, most of which were from Murshidabad and Jangipur constituencies.

"The TMC has unleashed a reign of terror in the entire constituency. Strict action must be taken by the Election Commission," Left-Congress combine candidate Mohammed Salim said in Murshidabad seat.

In the Karimpur area of the seat, clashes were reported between the TMC and the CPI-M supporters outside a few booths. Clashes were reported between the TMC and the Congress activists from the Domkol area.

In some areas, TMC workers held protests alleging that central forces were assisting BJP workers in "intimidating" voters at booths in the Maldaha North constituency.

In Uttar Pradesh, Agra witnessed 53.99 percent polling, Aonla 57.08 percent, Budaun 54.05 percent, Bareilly 57.88 percent, Etah 59.17 percent, Fatehpur Sikri 57.09 percent, Firozabad 58.22 percent, Hathras 55.36 percent, Mainpuri 58.59 percent and Sambhal 62.81 percent.

"In Mainpuri, BJP people are trying to loot booths. They are detaining opposition people in police stations," SP chief Yadav alleged without elaborating.

"There is information from some places that the government is using force. It is heard that officers have been deployed outside polling booths," he said.

In Budaun, the villagers of Dhoranpur boycotted the polling to protest against the alleged non-fulfilment of their demand for a road.

District magistrate Manoj Kumar said the issue has come to his notice and a sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) has been sent to the village.

Not a single vote was also cast in three villages of Firozabad -- Nagla Jawahar, Neem Kheria and Nagla Umar -- as the villagers tried to draw the administration's attention to their problems.

SP candidate Aditya Yadav in Budaun alleged that his party supporters were not being allowed to vote in some places.

"I have made a complaint in this regard with the EC observer and have given proof of police atrocities. We are only getting assurances," he said.
Queues were seen at polling booths in most Lok Sabha segments in northern districts of Karnataka.

Union Ministers Pralhad Joshi and Bhagwanth Khuba, and Karnataka Minister Priyank Kharge were among those who came in early to cast their votes.

Former chief minister B S Yediyurappa along with sons B Y Raghavendra, BJP candidate from Shimoga Lok Sabha segment, and B Y Vijayendra, party's state president, along with other family members cast their vote at Shikaripura in Shivamogga district.

Two government officials on poll duty died in Karnataka after suffering a heart attack, sources in the Election Commission said.

A 45-year-old woman polling officer - Kaushika Babariya- deployed at a polling booth in Amreli district of Gujarat, also died of a heart attack.

In Gujarat, the Banaskantha district collector ordered an inquiry after Congress Lok Sabha candidate Geniben Thakor alleged that electors were threatened and asked to vote for the BJP by some youngsters posing as Central Reserve Police Force personnel at a polling station.

In Maharashtra, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, his wife Sunetra Pawar, who is the NCP candidate from the Baramati Lok Sabha seat, and Nationalist Congress Party-Sharad Pawar chief Sharad Pawar were among those who cast their votes.

Sharad Pawar was welcomed with a traditional 'aarti' as he arrived at a polling booth in the Malegaon area of Baramati constituency in Pune district.

Ajit Pawar and Sunetra Pawar cast their votes at a polling booth in Katewadi area of Baramati.

Sunetra is pitted against her sister-in-law Supriya Sule, Sharad Pawar's daughter and the sitting MP from there.

In Assam, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma accompanied by his wife Riniki Bhuyan Sarma and daughter Sukanya Sarma exercised his franchise at Amingaon in Barpeta Lok Sabha seat.

Amid rains, people used different modes of transport, including boats, to reach the polling stations across Guwahati, Barpeta, Dhubri and Kokrajhar constituencies.

With the BJP bagging Surat unopposed, 25 seats in Prime Minister Modi's home state of Gujarat went to polls on Tuesday, besides 11 seats in Maharashtra, 10 seats in Uttar Pradesh, the remaining 14 of the 28 in Karnataka, seven in Chhattisgarh, five in Bihar, four each in Assam and West Bengal, and all two in Goa.

Voting was held in two seats in Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu and nine seats in Madhya Pradesh, including Betul where elections were earlier deferred.

Over 1,331 candidates, including around 120 women, were in the fray in the third phase.

The next four phases will be on May 13, May 20, May 25 and June 1. The counting of votes is on June 4.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.