New Delhi, Apr 30 (PTI): Brisk voting was under way on Wednesday in most of the seven states and two Union Territories in the seventh phase of Lok Sabha elections that will decide the fate of top guns including Narendra Modi, Sonia Gandhi, L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi.
The whole of Gujarat with 26 seats and Punjab with 13 seats are among 89 constituencies that went to polls on Thursday. A total of 138.3 million people have the right to vote in the polls.
Elections are already over in the first six phases involving 349 of the 543 constituencies. With Wednesday’s polling, 438 constituencies will be covered. Elections to the remaining 105 constituencies will he held on May 7 (64 seats) and May 12 (41).
Telangana will elect its first assembly along with representatives to Parliament during the polls in 119 Assembly constituencies and 17 Lok Sabha seats in that part of Andhra Pradesh.
In Gujarat, Bharatiya Janata Party’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and party veteran L K Advani were among the early voters in Gandhinagar.
”In the first four hours the voting percentage is around 20-21 per cent in the state,” additional chief electoral officer Ashok Manek said in Ahmedabad.
Long queues were witnessed all over the state outside polling booths since early morning hours. People were found queueing up in front of the polling booths even before the polling started at 7 am.
In Punjab, around 14 per cent voters exercised their franchise till 10am in 13 Lok Sabha seats where minor clashes broke out between Akali Dal and Congress workers in Moga and Amritsar.
Ten persons were involved in a clash at Sangatpura in Moga while Putlighar area in Amritsar witnessed a scuffle between activists of Congress and Akali Dal.
Brisk polling was witnessed in Uttar Pradesh where nearly 25 per cent voters exercised their franchise in the first four hours in 14 seats to decide the fate of 233 candidates.
UP Governor B L Joshi, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati, Congress candidate from Lucknow Rita Bahuguna Joshi, BJP national president Rajnath Singh and party leader Kalraj Mishra were among those who exercised their franchise
Bihar saw around 19 per cent polling till 10 am in seven Lok Sabha seats in the fourth phase of Parliamentary election in the state.
Nearly 44 per cent voters in nine Parliamentary constituencies of West Bengal cast their votes till 11 am in the third phase of the Lok Sabha polls in the state.
Voting started on a sedate note in Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency with around 5 per cent votes polled in the first few hours.
Nearly 16 per cent polling was reported in parts of Telangana in the initial hours of election as an air of expectancy enveloped the region that is soon going to be 29th state of the country.
Governor E S L Narasimhan and Chief Electoral Officer Bhanwar Lal were among the first to cast their votes as polling began at 7 am on a peaceful note in 17 Lok Sabha and 119 Assembly constituencies across ten districts of Telangana, amid unprecedented security.