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regular-article-logo Saturday, 15 June 2024

Lok Sabha polls 5th phase, Live Updates: Voting underway in 49 LS seats, 57 per cent till 5 pm

While Maharashtra recorded the lowest voter turnout till 3 pm with 38.77 per cent voters exercising their franchise, West Bengal recorded the highest voting percentage of 62.72

Our Web Desk Published 20.05.24, 10:21 AM
People wait in queues to cast their votes during the fifth phase of Lok Sabha elections, in Hooghly district, Monday, May 20, 2024.

People wait in queues to cast their votes during the fifth phase of Lok Sabha elections, in Hooghly district, Monday, May 20, 2024. PTI

  • A voter turnout of 56.68 per cent was recorded in phase 5 till 5 pm as per the Election Commission’s Voter Turnout App, with the highest polling percentage in West Bengal (73%) and the lowest in Maharashtra (48.66%), reports Indian Express

Over 47 per cent voter turnout was recorded till 3 pm on Monday in 49 constituencies in six states and two Union Territories in the fifth phase of Lok Sabha elections amid sporadic incidents of violence in West Bengal and poll boycott in a village of Uttar Pradesh.

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EVM glitches were also reported in some booths of Odisha and West Bengal.

While Maharashtra recorded the lowest voter turnout till 3 pm with 38.77 per cent voters exercising their franchise, West Bengal recorded the highest voting percentage of 62.72.

Among other states Bihar recorded 45.33 cent turnout, Jammu and Kashmir 44.90 per cent, Jharkhand 53.90 per cent, Odisha 48.95 per cent, Uttar Pradesh 47.55 per cent and Ladakh 61.26.

According to the Election Commission, the approximate polling percentage recorded at 3 pm was 47.53.

Scattered incidents of violence marred the polls in seven parliamentary constituencies of West Bengal where TMC and BJP workers clashed in various parts of Barrackpore, Bongaon, and Arambagh seats.

The poll panel said it has received 1,036 complaints from different political parties alleging EVM malfunctioning and agents being stopped from entering booths.

Clashes broke out between supporters of TMC and BJP in Khanakul area of Arambagh constituency.

In neighbouring Hooghly constituency, BJP sitting MP and party candidate Locket Chatterjee faced protests from TMC activists led by TMC MLA Ashima Patra.

As Chatterjee was on her way to a booth, TMC activists staged protests and shouted "Chor Chor (thief thief) slogans" following which the BJP MP got down from her car and shouted slogans against them.

A huge police and central forces contingent rushed to the spot and stopped the two groups.

Violence was also reported from various parts of Howrah constituency.

In the Liluah area of Howrah, the BJP accused TMC workers of booth jamming leading to clashes between both groups.The central police forces rushed to the area and dispersed them.

In Bongaon constituency’s Gayeshpur area, local BJP leader Subir Biswas was allegedly beaten by TMC supporters outside a booth. He was later shifted to hospital.

In the Kalyani area of the same constituency, Union Minister and BJP candidate Shantanu Thakur caught a person using the identity card of his rival TMC candidate Biswajit Das inside a polling booth.

The person was later removed from the booth by central forces.

TMC workers also staged protests in some areas following allegations that central forces were assisting BJP workers for allegedly intimidating voters at some booths of Hooghly.

In Uttar Pradesh, the Congress claimed EVM malfunctioning and accused the BJP of not allowing people to cast votes in three booths in Bela Khara village in Rahi block.

In a post on X, the Uttar Pradesh unit of the Congress, said, "Booth number 5, Rasulpur in Sareni in Rae Bareli is closed since 8 am (and) voters are going back. So this is how (the target of) 400 (seats) will be crossed!"

Samajwadi Party candidate from Gonda constituency Shreya Verma complained to the Election Commission that fair polling is not taking place at booth numbers 180 and 181 in the Mankapur area.

According to reports from Kaushambi, voters of Hisampur Madho village boycotted the polls.

The villagers told the officials that they would consider voting only after the administration gives them an assurance that a road and railway bridge connecting the village to other areas will be built.

TTO Graphics

In Maharashtra, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray claimed there were lot of complaints from electors about facilities outside polling booths.

"A lot of complaints from voters about the facilities outside the booths @ECISVEEP At least having the voter lines in shade/ fans could help. They don't want much, just basics to stay cool. Please look into it," Thackeray said in a post on X.

BJP leader Kirit Somaiya alleged that Shiv Sena (UBT) leaders Sanjay Raut and Sunil Raut were found involved in "corrupt practices" outside their polling booth at Bhandup in Mumbai.

The former MP also claimed that two activists of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT) were arrested for "illegal and corrupt practices of using a fake EVM".

However, MLA Sunil Raut, who is the brother of Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut, dismissed the allegations saying a dummy electronic voting machine (EVM) was kept outside the 100-metre radius of the polling booth for educational purpose.

Still, the police removed it under "political pressure", he claimed.

In Odisha, some unidentified persons allegedly hacked an auto-rickshaw driver to death near Sarsara in Bargarh district. The deceased was carrying some voters to the polling booth. While the family members claimed it was a political murder, police say personal enmity is the reason behind the crime.

EVM glitches were also reported from some places in Odisha.

TTO Graphics

TTO Graphics

Today's poll will decide the fate of several prominent leaders like former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Smriti Irani and former J-K chief minister Omar Abdullah.

Prominent early voters were Reserve Bank Governor Shaktikanta Das, BSP chief Mayawati, Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran, Union minister Piyush Goyal and industrialist Anil Ambani.

“I urge all the voters to vote…this is a right in our parliamentary democracy and everyone should exercise it,” Das told PTI after casting his vote at a polling centre near his official residence in south Mumbai.

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das after casting his vote

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das after casting his vote PTI

Polling booths in many parts of Mumbai saw a good turnout.

Bollywood stars Akshay Kumar, Farhan Akhtar, Rajkummar Rao and Jahnvi Kapoor were also among the early voters in Mumbai.

“I want my India to be developed and strong and I kept these things in my mind when I went to cast my vote. All Indians should think what is right for them and vote,” Kumar said after casting his vote at a polling station in Juhu.

Akthar, while standing in a queue at a polling station in Bandra West to cast his vote, told PTI, “My vote is for good governance, the government that looks after all the people, gives us a better city.”

Over 8.95 crore people, including 4.26 crore females and 5,409 third-gender electors, are eligible to vote in this round and 9.47 lakh polling officials have been deployed across 94,732 polling stations.

Polling for 23 states and Union territories and 379 seats has been completed so far.

The sixth and seventh phases are on May 25 and June 1 respectively. The counting of votes is on June 4.

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